The Mudiraj - Mudiraja - Muthuraja warrior community is one of the ancient royal community of South India which obsorbed all kinds of warrior tribes into its fold. But the back bone population of this community came from Bhil, Bhil variants, Kolis, and Koli variants with hunting & fishing background. There are also their mixed blood clans / rajputs resulting from matrimonial alliances with Aryans and Scythians. Some of them having mixed blood became agriculturilists. These were the people of wild, militant, ferocious and warrior in their character. They were basically soldiers, commandos, daredevils, suicide squad members, administrators, ministers, chiefs, chieftains, kings and also emperors. It is a community that can not be easily forced to submit to alien rule and domination. When these warriors failed to win in open wars, they launched to gorilla warfare. Even they could dare to commit crimes against their enemies.

Dravidian Warrior Tribes were the sole rulers of ancient India till Aryans and Scythians (Sakas) arrived into this country. After their arrival, the native Dravidian tribes got mixed up with with them and developed matrimonial relations. Thus the Dravidian Bhils, Aryans, Scythians, Indo-aryans and Indo-Scythians ruled this country just like native Indians.These Indian and Indianised Hindu rulers resisted the Muslim invaders and the imperial British as they these new alien forces started grabbing their land, forests & country and also started imposing their religion, culture & customs on the native Indians reducing them to slaves.

It has been observed that the Mudiraj community of South India always fought with their enemies to protect their country, religion, culture and customs. They believe in freedom of worship and practice of their own tribal culture and customs. Mudiraja tribes became Hindus but they never stopped worshipping mother Goddess, the essence of tribal warrior religion. The great quality of these dravidian tribal sections is that they can accept all kinds of religious faiths in the world but they never forget their mother Goddess.

Many sections of Mudiraj ( Muthuraja ) community of South India include several Warrior Tribes that spread across the country from Sindhu River to Kaveri River Basins. A great many Mudiraja & related kings laid down their lives in opposing the Islamic invaders who tried to destroy Hinduism and their Hindu culture. The Mudiraja warriors also opposed and revolted against the British rule in India. They were all declared as Criminal Tribes by British when they miserably failed to control them from fighting against British Rule. Muthracha, Kallars, Maravars, Bedars, Pardhis, Kaikadis, Kuruvars, korawas, Boyars, Erukalas, etc are some Warrior Tribes of Mudiraja who were labelled as Criminal Tribes to deal with them mercilessly through oppressive methods.

Veera Pandya Katta Bommana, Rana Pratap Singh, Rani Abbakka are some of the great patriotic rulers belonging to Bunt - Mudiraja - Muthuraja warrior community & block. Hence, we must declare them as the first freedom fighters of India and salute them for inspiring our leaders like Mangal Pande, Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and so on during British rule.

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Denotified Tribes of India
The Mutharacha ( Mudiraj ) caste was once the castes listed unde Notified Tribes by British and later on it was put in the list of Denotified Tribes (DNT) by Independent India.. Some years back, it was shifted to Backward Class list. Now the Mudiraj people are in B.C-D category. Now they are demanding for B.C-A status to gain competetive edge among BCs.

Time is very powerful and it changes every thing in this world from old order to new order. When the alien invading robberers became the rulers of India, the native Indian Warrior & Rulers were declared as criminals. Thus the Tribal Warriors were all branded and forced to become real thieves for the sake of their livelihood & survival. They became thieves because their countries, lands and forests were robbed by the invaders leaving nothing for them. What could they become, if not theieves and robberers ?

It may look like a crime as per the standars of present settled society, but it is their inherent militant & warrior quality to rebel gainst their enemy. It is for this great militant quailty, today we salute our beloved leaders Rani Jhansi, Chatrapathi Shivaji, Subhash Chandra Bose, Mangal Pande, Bhagat Singh and many others for their freedom fighting against British Imperialists.

Notified and Denotified Tribes of India
The British had sought to control and contain these landless and nomadic "criminal tribes" through a series of Criminal Tribes Acts propagated throughout the different geographical and administrative units of India. The first Act, passed in 1871, applied only to areas in north India; however, in subsequent Acts, and particularly in 1911, the measures were extended to all of British controlled India, and altered to include ever-more draconian features.

The British colonial state looked with extreme suspicion at tribal communities that did not participate in settled commodity production. The resistance of some forest-based tribal communities to occupation of their forests also made them enemies of the state. In 1871, the colonial state passed the notorious Criminal Tribes Act to deal with these 'suspect' communities -- nomadic or forest-based -- and prepared a list of communities that were 'notified' under the Act as being 'criminal'. Members of these communities were seen to be "addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences". The Act provided for registration of members, restrictions on their place of residence, and their 'reform' by confinement in special camps where low-paid work could be extracted from them. By 1921, the Criminal Tribes Act was extended to all parts of India and new communities were continuously added to the list of 'criminal tribes'.

British declared the warrior tribes of Mudiraja as Criminal Tribes as a part of their cunning war against the first freedom fighters of India
In 1871, the British Government of India "notified"certain tribes as "criminals" and passed the notorious "Criminal Tribes Act of 1871." Such people were notified, who, according to the British, were nomadic cattle grazers, wandering singers, acrobats, etc. Also those who resisted the British aggression from time to time. The logic was simple. These people lived in forests, or were nomads. Only the criminals would do this. As Indians follow caste professions, these mysterious (to the British) people too are hereditary criminals. Thus history's most heinous crime was perpetuated in this Act. From 1871-1944 this Act was amended, new areas and new communities were roped in. The itinerant traders lost their livelihood with the introduction of railways, roads and outsiders entering their lives. In 1952, Government of India officially "denotified" the stigmatised ones, without making any provisions for their livelihood. In 1959, Government of India passed the "Habitual Offender's Act" which is not much different from the "Criminal Tribes Act, 1871."

Since "criminal tribes" make such sensational headlines so frequently, the phenomenon needs to be examined historically in some detail. The people mentioned above are a staggering 60 million in number, and fall in the category of today's Denotified Tribes. The term "criminal tribes" was concocted by the British rulers, and entered the public vocabulary for the first time when a piece of legislation called the Criminal Tribes Act was passed in 1871. With the repeal of this Act (which was condemned by Pandit Nehru as a blot on the legal books of free India, and a shame to all civilised societies) these communities were officially "denotified" in 1952.

After Independence, the government, realising that the Criminal Tribes Act was a shameful colonial legacy, repealed the Act in 1952. Tribes that were 'notified' became 'denotified'. However, the government did not simultaneously take any steps towards finding a livelihood for members of de-notified and nomadic tribes. They were left to their own devices.

Intensive research on the issue shows that about 150 years ago, a large number of tribal communities were still nomadic, and were considered useful, honourable people by members of the settled societies with whom they came into regular contact. A number of them were small itinerant traders who used to carry their wares on the backs of their cattle, and bartered their goods in the villages through which they passed. They would bring interesting items to which people of a particular village and a little further away - spices, honey, grain of different varieties, medicinal herbs, different kinds of fruit or vegetables which the region did not grow, and so on.

Almost invariably, nomadic people were craftsmen of some kind or the other and in addition to their trading activity they would make and sell all sorts of useful little items like mats and baskets, brooms and brushes or earthenware utensils. Some like the Banjaras or Lambadis functioned on a larger scale, and moved in larger groups with pack animals loaded mainly with salt, and their women in addition to the salt also bartered the exquisitely crafted silver trinkets with settled villagers. In addition, among them were musicians, acrobats, dancers, tightrope walkers, jugglers and fortune tellers. On the whole, they were considered a welcome and colourful change in routine whenever they visited or camped near a village.

There were several reasons for these communities first becoming gradually marginalised, and finally beginning to be considered useless to the settled societies. First, the network of roads and railways established in the 1850s connected many of the earlier outlying villages to each other as also to cities and towns. The scale of the operations of the nomadic traders was thus drastically cut down to only those areas where wheel traffic could not yet reach. This was the single most important reason for the loss of livelihood of a number of nomadic communities. Further, under newly imposed forest laws, the British government did not allow tribal communities to graze their cattle in the forests, or to collect bamboo and leaves either, which were needed for making simple items like mats and baskets for their own use and for selling. These two developments had disastrous consequences for the nomadic traders.

There was one other major historical factor responsible for the impoverishment of a very large number of nomadic communities. The nineteenth century witnessed repeated severe famines - during each successive one the nomadic communities lost more and more heads of cattle which were the only means of transporting their goods to the interior villages. The cattle were in fact becoming more crucial than ever, as with increasing network of roads and railways these communities had to travel longer distances to sell their wares. Loss of cattle meant loss of trading activity on an unprecedented scale

Denotified Tribes were the first freedom fighters
These were the tribes who were the first freedom fighters of our country. They valiantly fought against Muslim invaders when they penetrated into India and later they also fought against British opposing their imperialism.

The British government gradually began to consider nomadic communities prone to criminality in the absence of legitimate means of livelihood. There was a parallel process taking place all along. A number of tribal chiefs, especially in the north, participated in the 1857 events, and earned the title of traitors and renegades with the British government. Elsewhere, hill tribes determinedly resisted the attempts by the British to annexe their land for establishing plantations, and to try and use them as plantation labour. A number of tribal communities, thus, would not yield to the British armed forces and consistently fought back, though whole habitations were burnt down in retaliation by the frustrated British officers deputed to co-opt them. Generally, it began to be felt that most tribal communities, including nomadic ones, were dangerously criminal. The Criminal Tribes Act was born in these historical circumstances.

A large number of communities were officially declared criminal tribes from 1871 onwards. The British government subsequently ran special settlements for them where they were chained, shackled, caned and flogged while being surrounded by high walls under the provisions of the Criminal Tribes Act. In the name of the homegrown science of "curocriminology" it was declared that they would be cured of their criminal propensities if they were given work and such an understanding had an obvious corollary: the more they work, the more reformed they would be. They could be thus forced to work for up to 20 hours a day in factories, plantations, mills, quarries and mines all through the first few decades of the twentieth century. This was an era when the Factories Act had come into existence, but the British employers were officially able to do away with those provisions of the Factories Act which restricted the number of hours of work in a day, or number of days in a week, or allowed minimal facilities at the workplace.

The story of the DNTs goes back to the early years of the colonial rule. In those times, whoever opposed the British colonial expansion was perceived as a potential criminal. Particularly, if any attempts were made to oppose the government by the use of the arms, the charge of criminality was a certainty. Many of the wandering minstrels, fakirs, petty traders, rustic transporters and disbanded groups of soldiers were included by the British in their list of criminal groups.

During the first half of the nineteenth century, the tribes in the North West frontier had been declared 'criminal tribes'. This category became increasingly open ended and by 1871 the British had prepared an official list of Criminal Tribes. An act to regulate criminal tribes was passed that year. For instance, Bhils who had fought the British rule in Kandesh and on the banks of Narmada and were convicted under section 110 of the IPC were to be recognised as criminal tribes. The CT Act made provisions for establishing reformatory settlements where the criminal tribals could be kept in confinement and subjected to low paid work. They were required to report to the guardrooms several times every day, so that they did not escape the oppressive settlements.

The land possessed by the criminal tribes was already alienated during the colonial rule. After independence, various state governments have done little to restore their land to them. Schemes for economic uplift do not seem to have benefited them. The illiteracy rate among the DNTs is higher than among the SCs or the STs, malnutrition's more frequent and provisions for education and health care almost negligible since most of the DNTs have remained nomadic in habit. And above all, there is no end to the atrocities that the DNTs have to face.

The social category generally known as the Denotified and Nomadic tribes of India covers a population approximately of six crores. Some of them are included in the list of Scheduled castes, some others in the Scheduled Tribes, and quite a few in Other Backward Classes. But there are many of these tribes which find place in none of the above. What is common to all these Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs) is the fate of being branded as 'born' criminals.

Soon after Independence, the communities notified as criminal tribals were denotified by the Government. This notification was followed by substitution of a series of Acts, generally entitled 'Habitual Offenders Act! The HOAs preserved most of the provisions of the former CT Acts, except the premise implicit in it that an entire community can be 'born' criminal. Apparently, the denotification and the passing of the HOAs should have ended the misery of the communities penalised under the CT Act. But that has not happened. The police force as well as the people in general were taught to look upon the 'Criminal Tribes' as born criminals during the colonial times. That attitude continues to persist even today.

NHRC Recommandations
The National Human Rights Commission, in a historic meeting held in February, 2000 has recommended repeal of the Habitual Offenders Act, which in effect replaced the Criminal Tribes Act after independence. The Habitual Offenders Act has spelt terror to these communities for half a century, as they can be still summarily rounded up whenever there is unexplained crime. The NHRC has also promised to take steps to monitor atrocities on these communities and reorient the police training systems to change the attitudes of the police towards them at all levels. It has also accepted the need to protect denotified tribes through a comprehensive package of welfare measure, including employment opportunities.

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The Kallars, Maravars & agamudayars of Tamil coutry are part of Tamil Muthurajas. They were the three clands who ruled Chola, Chera & Pandyan dynasties of South India. The Kallar and Maravar who had been referred to as the military tribes of the southern provinces by early British writers were classified as criminal tribes towards the end of the nineteenth century. Piranmalai Kallars were in the list of criminal tribes. Servaikarars, Kallars and Marwars subcastes of Tamil Muthuraja community and they not only fought against Muslim Invaders but also revolted against British imperialists.

The Kallar, Maravar and Agamudaiyar communities constitute the Kshatriya or warrior class of Tamil Nadu, South India. They are all believed to have originated from an ancient people called Kalabhrar.

Kallars, Marvars and Agamudayars together form the Mukkulathor ( three clans) group of warrior community who once uprooted and ruled the chola, chera and pandyan countries. That is why that these clans are believed to be the descendants of Kalabhras. The clan name "Kallar" seems to be gradual modification of the name "Kalabhra". The kallars and kalvars seem to be one and the same people who descended from Kalabhras or kalappalars. Many historians believe that Mutharayars are the descendants of Kalabhras.

Kalabeera => Kalabira => Kalabra => Kalabhra
Kalabra => Kalbra => Kalbar => Kalvar => Kallar

Dr Spencer Wells and Dr. Pitchappan have found an ancient DNA marker in the blood of Kallar that links them to the very first modern humans who migrated out of Africa about 60,000 years ago and travelling through the southern coastline of Asia had eventually reached Australia. Based on this theory, it is assumed that the Piramala Kallars are the oldest human inhabitants of the subcontinent.

It is believed that the Maravar, Agamudayars, Thanjai Cholarkula Kalla Nattars, Pandiya Vellalars, Chola Vellalars, Chera Vellalar, Vellala Mudaliyars, Agamudaya Mudaliars, Conjeevaram Mudaliars and, Udayars have all descended from Kallars. The surnames used by the kallar people are Ambalakarar, Servai, Vandaiyar, Thalaivar, Nattaar (not Nadar), etc. Women use the title Nachiyaar and it is a general practice in Southern Tamil Nadhu to address a Thevar woman as "Nachchiyaar". As per Chola - Mutharayar research center, the Ambalakarar and Servaikarar are surnames of Tamil Muthuraja.

The Kallars of Dindigul, Trichy, Thanjavur, Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Pudukottai and Ramnad Districts have very distinct surnames. Some of the most common names are Sendapiriyar, Alathondamar, Ambalam, Aarsuthiyar, Kaadavaraayar, Kalingarayar, Vandaiyaar, Thanjaraayar, Chozhangaraayar, Kandiyar, Pursaar, Vaanavaraayar, Mazhavaraayar, Pallavaraayar, Ponnapoondar, Pullavaraayar, Servai, Karaimeendar,Vanavarayar,Vairayar,Ponpethiar,Gopalar, Thondaimaan, Thevar, Kandapillai, Vayaadiyar, Vanniar, Nattar, Alankara Priyar, Munaiyatriyar,Keerudayar, Saaluvar, Manraayar,Kaadavaraayar, Madhavarayar, Onthiriyar, Serumadar, Vambaliar, Thenkondaar, Mankondaar, Kaaduvetiyaar, Sozhagar, Chozanga Nattar etc. There are over 700 surnames in use. Many of these surnames can be seen in the surname list of Tamil Muthurajas.

Kallars are found largely in Madurai, Sivagangai, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Trichy, Theni and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu. One of their popular deities is Kallazhagar who is a warrior form of Lord Thirumala or Venkadavan. Kalabhras are said to belong Thirupathi region and attacked the Tamil country.

Kallar is one of the three communities which constitute the Mukkalathor confederacy. European eyewitnesses of the 18th century have made mention of Kallars as "a fearless tribe show many signs of independence and non-submission to any form of subjugation". They were expert soldiers and constituted the bulk of Chola and Pandya armies.

One of the principal weapons of the Kallars is the boomerang. This has evoked comparisons with the Australian aborigines and vouch for the theory that Kallars were one of the earliest people to inhabit the Indian subcontinent. The principal occupation of Kallars is farming.

Ambalakarars of Muthuraja are Kallars : There are various sub-castes of Kallars, amongst whom the Ambalakarar is the most important. Ambalakarar is also one of the surnames of Tamil Muthuraja community and this indicates that Muthurajas are the descendants of Kalabeeras. They were a warlike people who strongly resisted every British attempt to subjugate them. They are found in Madurai and Sivaganga districts. In these districts, each village is headed by an Ambalakarar (president of an assembly) and the Ambalakarars took upon themselves the power to adjudicate disputes that arose among the inhabitants in the "nadu", belonging to different castes. They used to hear complaints, hold inquiries and punish the offenders. They wielded considerable powers to intervene in any kind of transaction or transfer of property among the people. No land could be alienated from one man to another without the permission of the Ambalakarars.

Piramalai Kallars : Another important Kallar subcaste is the Piramalai Kallar. They are highly conservative and have preserved their customs and traditions to the present day. They are also believed to be the oldest inhabitants of the Tamil country with reports of their presence going back to Tamil literary works of the 4th century B.C. They are found mainly in the districts of Madurai and Theni. Their popular deity is Amman, the Mother Goddess.

Portions of the Madura and Tanjore districts are divided into areas known as nadus, a name which, as observed by Mr. Nelson, is specially applicable to Kallan tracts. On the whole there were 37 "nadus" in the two districts, of which 14 were said to be in the Sivaganga region. Kallan or Kallar denotes a caste group, which is part of the Mukkulathor, now a dominant caste in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. Maravar and Agamudaiyar are the other components of the Mukkulathor community. The Chola country of Tanjore is stated to be the original abode of the Kallars before they migrated to the Madurai region, the then Pandya kingdom. Agriculture was said to be their major occupation. "Nadu" was a group of villages under the Chola administrative system. This Nadu was known as Mutha in Telugu speaking lands and the head of Mutha was Mutharacha ( Mudira).

Nadu = Mutha

By 1911, the Criminal Tribes Act was extended to Madras Presidency. Stuart Blackburn write that in Madurai, the Criminal Tribes Act was " in essence a Kallar Control Act". But hundreds of communities brought under the Criminal Act. In 1931, 237 tribes were brought under the Criminal Act. In Madras presidency alone.

Mr. Pandian in his dissertation project focuses specifically on the Piramalai Kallar community of southern Tamil Nadu. The Kallars were the most significant of the castes notified under the colonial Criminal Tribes Act of 1911. Charged with highway robbery, cattle rustling and many other putatively habitual crimes, the Kallars were subjected to an extraordinary degree of repression and police supervision. In addition to such measures, the colonial state also made a series of agrarian interventions that took agriculture as a potent vehicle of social reform, from minor land grants to massive regional irrigation projects. Mr. Pandian has conducted his ethnographic research at the head of the Cumbum Valley, where a voluntary agricultural settlement was opened for the Kallars in 1917. Efforts to reform Kallar conduct through interventions on the landscape provide an exemplary instance of cultivation as both an environmental technique and an idiom of subjection, both a material practice and a metaphor for selfhood: a doubled means of becoming modern.

The Kallar Reclamation schemes are intended for the welfare of the Piramalai Kallars of Madurai, Dindigul and Theni Districts. This scheme was started in 1920 as a result of enforcement of the Criminal Tribes Act. Originally, Kallar Reclamation was looked after by the Police Department After the repeal of Criminal Ttribes Act, the administration was transferred to the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department and subsequently to the Backward Classes Department. Now, Kallar Reclamation is administered by the Department of the Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities from 1989-90 onwards.

The common name of the Thevars was earlier Kallar (thiefs). They were classified by the British as a criminal group through the infamous Criminal Tribes Act. Today they prefer to use the title Thevar, meaning 'the Divine'. The Kallar history of being notorious dacoits (highway robbers), feared for their militant manner, is not something they would deny today. This is part of their pride and the claim to be descendants of warriors, underwritten by the legend that they, together with other associated caste sections, were born of Indra, the warrior god. Today they are mainly farmers, although both theft and protection from theft (the kaval 4 system) is still an important part of their identity. The Thevars in the area of the Palni Hills belong to the Pramalai Kallar, the subsection of the Kallars that was studied by Louis Dumont in the early 1950s.

Marriage within Maravars, Kallars and Agamudiyars (all BC communities) was not common until recently and are considered inter-caste. Some Maravar and Kallar groups are categorized under Denotified Communities. Kondavan Kottai Maravar is one such group that has been classified as Seer Marabinar. This group was categorized as Criminal Tribes during the British Rule. During the British Era, even after the fall of the Hindu Kingdoms in Southern Districts, the Maravars were involved in Tax Collection (which used to be their heriditary profession.) The money collected by these Maravars were used on organized crimes against the British. There were several decoity / armed robbery committed by Maravars during this period. To contain this activity the British declared laws that outlawed the tax collection and arrested several Maravar community members and subjected them to comply with several regulatory procedures. These maravar families were regarded as Criminal Tribes and have to follow the regulations laid by the British or other wise get arrested. This is the history of the origin of "Denotified Community". Even today large parts of Nellai & Ramanathapuram where Maravars live are under-developed without access to basic amenities such as Schools or Hospitals etc.

One of the first concerns of the British as soon as they conquered the southern parts of India was with the ancient and ingrained "habits of predatory war" among the Tamils. The British proclamation abolished the Palayam system "In the confident expectation of redeeming the people of the southern provinces from the habits of predatory warfare", and in the hope of inducing them to take up "the arts of peace and agriculture". It was stated in the proclamation that "wherefore the Right Honourable Edward Lord Clive�with the view of preventing the occurrence of the fatal evils which have attended the possession of arms by the Poligars and Servaikaras of the southern provinces�formally announces to the Poligars, Servaikaras and inhabitants of the southern provinces, the positive determination of His Lordship to suppress the use and exercise of all weapons of offence" and that the Palayams would be turned into Zamindari estates for the purpose of preventing the Tamil military castes from engaging in their customary military services.

The ban carrying weapons was crucial to the urgent task of depriving the Tamil military castes of their traditional status in the southern provinces. The woods and fortresses of the turbulent Poligars were destroyed and removed from all maps and official documents. The demilitarization of the Tamil region did not spare even the Kallar caste which had rendered valuable service to the British in the important wars of the Carnatic,by which they subjugated the whole of south India. The hereditary chiefs of this military caste were the kings of Pudukottai � the Thondamans, who had sided with the British against Hyder Ali and later his son, Tippu Sultan. In many of the early wars, the British fought on behalf of the Nawab of Arcot in south India, the Kallar had made up a sizeable portion of their forces. But the Kallar and the other Tamil military castes had to be disfranchised to rid Tamil society of its ancient habits and culture of predatory warfare.

Unlike many other martial castes of the subcontinent, the Kallar and the Maravar were not yeoman peasants who dropped the plough for the sword only in times of war. They had to seek battles even when their king or chieftain was not at war. Most of the hero-stones found in Tamilnadu commemorate such battles between groups of Kallar or Maravar.

Some of the warrior gods who are worshipped to this day in southern Tamil Nadu are Maravar, who distinguished themselves in such battles which took place even after the British began to abolish the culture of predatory war. The bow-song of Eena Muthu Pandian, a Tamil demigod, describes the martial life and heroic deeds of that Maravar warrior who lived in British times. The warrior's virtue was to desire the bliss of the hero's heaven; it was degrading for him to seek fertile lands. The Purananooru (an anthology of Tamil heroic poems) derides the newly arisen kings for their interest in rice yielding fields. War was the sole occupation and aim of the Tamil warrior clans. A mother describes the Tamil martial ethos � 'To bring forth and rear a son is my duty; To make him a warrior is the father's duty'. To make spears for him, is the blacksmith's; to bear bright sword and do battle, to butcher enemy's elephants and return, that is the young man's duty" .

The most important structure which gave the Kallar and Maravar immense power in the Tamil country-side was the system of kaval. It was abolished in 1832. This has been the traditional means by which the Kallar, Maravar and Ahampadiyar derived their livelihood in times of peace when they were not employed as soldiers. Many efforts were taken to put a stop to the kaval services of the Tamil military castes in the countryside in the first half of th nineteenth century, culminating in the organization of a new police system in 1860, which recruited mostly from among castes which were considered favourable to the British. The Nadu-Ambalakarar institution of the Kallar by which justice was traditionally dispensed in regions dominated by them was also abolished to make way for the penal and judiciary system introduced by the British. Deprived of their traditional occupations of kaval and soldiering and in some instances of their lands, a large section of the Tamil military castes became, in the eyes of the colonial government, a delinquent mass, a danger to the rural social order.

Vandayars are mostly Kallars
Vandayar's are basically from Tamilnadu and Andhra pradesh ( before seperation of Madra state). The name Vandayar is native to Tanjore District and it spread all over the world. The surname belongs to kallar & Maravar castes of "mukkulathore" clans probably called in the nation DEVAR. The kings with the name Thondaiman / Vandayar are all from kallar community. These are called "PATTA PEYAR". Further, it is well known that Kallars are the deescendants of Kalabhras. It is also agreed by many historians that Muthurajas are also the descendants of Kalabhras. A large number of Ambalakarars are part of Kallar and Maravar clans.

Kalabhras => Kalabras => Kalabars => Kalbars => Kallars.

Vandayar nickname is very popular in Tamil Nadu particularly in Thanjavur District.There are thousands of families having the same Nickname 'Vandayar' in and around Tamilnadu.It is a belief that the Vandayar Families belong to same blood relation and hence they are all considered to be Brothers and Sisters.

VANDAYAR name seems to be a modification of the name VANRAYAR
Vanarayars ruled parts of Tamilnadu and Karnataka. The name or title could be due to gradual modification of Vanrayar. Thevar - Pillai - Mudali are all same once & Many Pillai Kings were there. Kaduvetti Muttara is known to belong to Banarayars lineage. Even Mahabali Chakravarty too hailed from the same lineage.

Bana = Vana = Forest
Rayar = Raya = Raja = King or Chief
Banarayar => Vanarayar => Vanrayar => Vandayar

Vandayars could be Thondaimans from Thirupathi Region
The kings with the name Thondaiman / Vandayar are all from kallar community. These are called "PATTA PEYAR". The Pallava kings at several places are called Thondamans or Thondaiyarkon. A King named Akasa Raja who belonged to the Lunar race was ruling over Thondamandalam (Thirupathi). Akasha Raja also had a brother named Thondaman. Akasharaja was the son of King Mitravarman of Thondamandalam.Balaji, Lord of the Seven Hills, Vishnu himself, got married to Princess Padmavati, beautiful daughter of King Akasaraja of Thondamandalam and Queen Dharanidevi.

Vellore District was also known as " Thondamandalam Region" in early History of South India. In Second half of the Ninth Century A.D. Vellore District formed part of the pallava kingdom. The Chola emperor, Raja Raja Chola, renamed "Thondamandalam" as "Jayamkonda Chola mandalam" after one of his titles.

Thondamandalam was a prosperous land. Its capital was Kanchipuram. Thondaman built Mahabalipuram : Mamallapuram is a small town on the east coast of India and is 58 km away from Chennai.The monuments here are among the oldest in the south and belong to ancient Thondamandalam. They were created under the patronage of the Pallava Kings who ruled North Tamilnadu from their capital at Kancheepuram between 500 and 700 A.D. The five rathas and the shore temple at Mamallapuram rank high among the best specimens of ancient Indian architecture. During that period, Mamallapuram was one of the main sea ports on the East Coast.

The demilitarization of the Tamil region did not spare even the Kallar caste which had rendered valuable service to the British in the important wars of the Carnatic,by which they subjugated the whole of south India.The hereditary chiefs of this military caste were the kings of Pudukottai � the Thondamans, who had sided with the British against Hyder Ali and later his son, Tippu Sultan. In many of the early wars, the British fought on behalf of the Nawab of Arcot in south India, the Kallar had made up a sizeable portion of their forces. But the Kallar and the other Tamil military castes had to be disfranchised to rid Tamil society of its ancient habits and culture of predatory warfare.

After the fall of the Cholas of Thanjavur in the 14th century the area came under the rule of the Madurai kings, Pallavarayars and Thondaimans of Pudukottai according to J. Raja Mohammed, Curator of the Pudukottai Government Museum. The Thondaimans of Pudukkottai rose to power by about the end of 17th century. In the year 1640 Ragunatha Raya Thondiman formed Pudukkottai State. The Thondaimans of Pudukkottai came to rule with full sovereignty over the Pudukkottai area from the middle of the 17th century till its amalgamation with the rest of India after Indian Independence in 1947.The royal family of Thondaimans ruled upto 1948. Pudukkottai province became a part of Tiruchirappalli district.

In later centuries, the Thondaiman rulers, while nominally feudatories of the Ramnad state, often pursued an independent foreign policy, a trend common in all parts of India at that time. Certainly the most consequential of such ventures was their alliance with the BritishRaj in the 18th century, first against the Nawab of Arcot and later against the Kingdom of Mysore. Pudukkotai finally came under formal British protection in 1763. This was arguably unavoidable, since the Thondaimans were much menaced in that period by a resurgent Mysore ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan had sought to leverage the power of the France against his United Kingdom adversaries, and Pudukkotai, in common with its neighbours such as Thanjavur and Travancore, found it expedient to ally with the British.

The ancestors of the Pudukkottai ruling line of Thondaimans, are migrants from Thirupathi region in the Thondaimandalam, the northern stretch of the ancient Tamil Kingdom, along with the Vijaynagar army, which was in engagement in this part of territory in the early 17th century. It is probable that one among them got some lands assigned to him by the local Pallavarayar chieftain and settled down at Karambakudi and Ambukovil area, and became the chieftain of the area, later came to be called as the progenitor of Thondaimans of Pudukkottai ruling house. According to the legendary account found in a Telugu poem, Thondaiman Vamasavali, the Thondaimans belonged to Indravamsa and the first ruler was Pachai Thondaiman.

Aranthangi is ruled by Thondaimans (Different from Pudukkottai Thondaimans) in earlier days.Not much is known about the Aranthangi Thondaimans who were ruling Aranthangi from the 15th to 18th century, as fuedal chiefs under the Pandyas, Sethupathis of Ramanathapuram, Nayaks of Thanjavur and Vijayanagar kings. Though there are references to the Aranthangi Thondaimans in the inscriptions in the temples in Avudayarkovil, Alappiranathan, Pillaivayal, Aranthangi, Kovilur, Paramandur, Palankarai, Piranmalai, Thiruvarankulam, Kurumbur, details of these rulers are rather sketchy.

Though there are references 60 Thondaimans as ruling chiefs, administrative and military chiefs, royal personages etc., in quite a few places, at different points of time, it was very difficult to bring them all under a single clan, or connect one another ethnically or politically. Similarly the Aranthangi Thondaimans were an independent line of chieftains, ruling from Aranthangi, and their reign flourished even about 200 years before the rule of the Thondaimans of Pudukottai (which started in about 1640). Aranthangi Thondaimans were the chief patrons of the Avudayarkovil temple, and had liberally donated to the maintenance of the temple, as indicated by copper plates in the possession of the Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam.

An inscribed granite pillar, giving details of the hitherto little known Aranthangi Thondaimans, and also of the establishment of a `Thannerpandal' (drinking water centre) for pilgrims proceeding to Rameswaram, has been discovered by Mr. Raja Mohamed, curator of the Pudukottai Museum, and secretary of the Pudukottai History Forum. It was customary in those days to inscribe in copper plates, the gifts of land made by Thondaimans, and which had already been inscribed in granite stones. Such corrobarative inscriptions in granite and copper plates prove the genuineness of the gifts. The inscriptions also refer to the donation of land for the presiding deity, Lord Thyagaraja, of Tiruvarur. The pillar has recently been shifted to the Pudukottai musuem.

They had gifted lands etc. to Tiruvarur, Rameswaram, Kanchipuram and also Benares temples. About 25 copper plates grants of Aranthangi Thondaimans have been recorded so far, and 16 of them are in the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam. No places or forts have been found in Aranthangi, except a few remains of the dilapidated walls of an old fort. Attempts are being made to study in depth, about Aranthangi Thondaimans. Ancient granite pillar with inscriptions which was found in Nattani village in Pudukottai district recently.

The famous 'Thondai kingdom' (which lies to the north of Tamil Nadu), which had been ruled by the Thondaimans had many scholars to its credit. To the south west of Kanchi (Kanchi is considered the Holiest of the seven holy places of pilgrimage for attaining salvation) lies a holy place called 'Sumangali'

Pandya king - Muttarasa Tirumalei Maha Vilivanathi Rayar was a Vandiyar

In 1451, it is said a Nayakkan named Lakkana brought to Madura four persons, who he declared to be the true Pandya stock, and set them, or one of them upon the throne. The names of these four are given as follows, namely :

These kings can be seen with titles Muttarasa, Mavili and Vanathirayar and from the following information they seem to belong Kallar branch of Thevar (Mukkulathor) clans. For more details on Kallars and Vandiyars, readers may like to refer to webpage "WAR-TRIBES" in this website "MUDIRAJA"

Mahabali => Mahavali => Mavali => Mavili => Vili
Vanathirayar => Vanadirayar => Vandiyar
Mahavali + Vanathirayar => Maha Vilivanathi Rayar

The surnames used by the Thevar people are Ambalakarar, Servai, Vandaiyar, Mannaiyar, Nattar (not Nadar), etc. The Kallars of Dindigul, Trichy, Thanjavur, Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Pudukottai and Ramnad Districts have very distinct surnames.Some of the most common names included are Vanathirayar, Ambalam, Kalingarayar, Vandaiyaar, Thanjaraayar, Vaanavaraayar, Pallavaraayar, Servai, Vanavarayar, Thondaimaan, Thevar, Vanniar, Nattaar, Saaluvar, Onthiriyar, Kaaduvetiyaar, ,olivarayar etc. There are over 700 surnames in use.Now it is clear that the present day Vandayars (Kallars) are the descendants of ancient or vanarayars or vanars or vanathirayars.

Vaanavaraayar => Vanavarayar => Vanarayar
Vanarayar => Vanrayar =>Vandayar => Vandiyar
Vanarayar => Vanadirayar => Vanathirayar

It is said that "Vanar" or "Banar" were called "Vanathirayar" and they claimed to have won over all the three Moovendar and briefly ruled Madurai after chasing away "Pandyans". If it is so, these Bana kings could be the part of Kalabhras who invaded South India displacing the then Chola, Chera & Pandya kings. . The title Muttarasa used by some of these kings too point to this fact that they could be kalabhras as it is widely believed that Muthurajas are the descendants of Kalabhras. Even the name " Kallar " it self is a modification of the word Kalabrar or Kalabar or Kalabhra.

Kalabra => Kalabrar => Kalabar => Kalbar => Kallar

Vanarayas and Bana kings were one and the same
Bana : is a gotra of Jats found in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in India. Banas are descendants of King Banasur. Their capital was at Bayana in Bharatpur. Vana Ganga river gets name from Banas. The princess of Bayana was Usha married to Anirudh. There is a temple at Bayana constructed in memory of Usha. Virkvansi Jats and Sinsinwar Jats of Bharatpur later on occupied Bayana. Bana is a rigvedic ruling clan. Byawar near Ajmer and Bhadawar, Kadiyar Khanda in Bikaner, Giradhpur, Chitauli, and Chandaudi etc famous villages of Meerut are inhabited by Bana jats.Bana is a village in Churu district inhahited by Bana gotra Jats.this village established by bhoj who is bana .

Thiru Narayanapuram :
Location: Thottiam taluk, Trichy district. 1 km from Varadaraja puram.
Main Deity: Veda Narayanar, in lying posture with Sridevi, & Bodhevi thayar
Importance: Swayambu Veda Narayana Perumal on Adi seshan with 10 heads. Sridevi & Bhodevi doing seva.Prahaladha as a small boy. Brahma got his veda upadesam in this place.

Story: Once Mahabala chakravarthy Vanarayar was travelling towards Mysore from this place to fight and expand his kingdom. At night they had to halt here and he had a dream. Vedanarayana perumal under the mud was to be removed and installed in a temple built by him. After doing the pooja he should proced further then he will be the King without any effort. The King as he was told and his wish was fulfilled.

Another in the purana is Arayar ( Muthuraja ) family came to worship here. That day fire broke and the temple with temporary structure got fire and Arayar to save god from fire he with his family lay on the idol and attained moksha. Prahaladha is seen in the temple. After Hirnya vadham, Perumal was in anger prahaladha worshipped him and asked him to be in santha swaroopam in this place forever. Brahma was of ego that only he can create and perumal wanted to teach him a lesson so he created an ugly person and sent him to Brahma. Looking at this person. brahma was confused as to who could have done. To clear his doubt. he asked Veda Narayana perumal, who could be. Perumal replied him that since Brahma is the god of creation it could be no one else. Then suddenly the ugly person disappeared, and his ego was destroyed. Brahma asked Narayana to preach veda to him. This was the place, where veda was preached to Brahma, so we see the right palm of perumal is kept open as giving upadesa to Brahma. There are 4 vedas as pillows to Veda Narayanar here which is unique. Anjeneya in the front pillar is important because people here keep him as a judge for every matter. The temple is a small one but well maintained.

Bali or Mahabali may also be written or said as "Vali" or "Mahavali". Bali - founder of the varnas; descendant of Yayati. Mahabali (Daitya) - Chakravarti (noble king) who sacrificed his kingdom to Vamana, a.k.a. "Vairochana Bali" (son of Virochanab Bali), "Mabali" and "Mavali"; descendant of Turvasu lineage. Mahabali Banarasa (Bana) - King of the Bana tribe in Gandanadu.

Bana Kingdom
Kaduvetti Muttaraja is said to belong Bana lineage as per some insciptions. The Bana kings ruled parts of South India. In many cases as subordinate position and some times taking major roles. The Banas had their capital at various places at different times, including Kolar. Kolar was a capital city of Western Ganga Muttarasa kings. Bana Vidhyadhara, son of Malladeva (Married a grand-daughter of the Ganga King Siva maharaja ( Shivamara ?) , who reigned between 1000 and 1016AD) .

The Bana kingdom , records of which in canarese are chiefly to be found in the Eastern fringe of Myand in Punganor, was established early in 8th century in a tract of country of which the North and South boundaries roughly corresponded to to those of present district of Chittor, while it extended from Kolar on the West to Kalahasti on the East. Later in the Century, this kindom evidently increased rapidly in the power and absorbed large terretories to the North. Bana inscriptions of _this period boast of possessing "the country west of the Andhra Dominions" or all the country West of the "road to the Telugu country, " by which must be meant the East coast road from Conjeevaram to Nellore.These Bana Muttaras kins seems to be defeated Vijayalaya Chola.

Vandiyars and Pandiyars could be one and the same
Mukkulathor, Mukulathar or Mukulathor is a name for a group of three related social groups or castes of Tamil Nadu state of India. The related castes are Kallar, Maravar and Agamudaiyar. The commonly used titles & surnames of this community, are Thevar, Nattaar, Padaiyachee, Thalaivar, Ambalakarar, vandiyars, salvars, kaduvettiar..this title differ according to the region they live .etc These people could be the decendents of the Pandiars who are still live today in South India.

Vanarayar => Vanrayar => Vandayar => Vandiyar
Vandiyar => Pandiyar => Pandiyan => Pandian
Vandiyar => Pandiyar => Pandiyan => Pandiya => Pandya

Most of the Vandayars or Vandiyars are Kallars. It appears that the title Vandiyar gradually modofied to Pandiyar. This could be possible as Kallars claim to be the descendats of rulers of Pandyan kingdom. Pandiyars are said to have taken over MADURAI in around 300BCE according to Sangam Literature.

The Maruthu Pandiyar brothers (Periya Maruthu & Chinna Maruthu) ruled Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu during the last part of the 18th century and they were the first to issue a proclamation of independence from the British rule from Trichy Thiruvarangam Temple, Tamil Nadu on June 10, 1801, which is 56 years before the North Indian rebellion - Sepoy mutiny of 1857.

Inscriptional references to Bana or Vana kings

Tamil Inscriptions - part - iii - Inscriptions of the CHOLA DYNASTY
No. 76. Udayendiram Plates of Prithivipati II. Hastimalla- Prithivipati II. was a dependent of Parantaka I. and received from him the dignity of 'lord of the Banas' (v. 21), who had been conquered by the Chola king (v. 9). He defeated the Hill-chiefs (Girindra) and the Pallavas (v. 23) and bore the titles 'lord of Parivipuri' and 'lord of Nandi,' i.e., of the Nandidurga hill near Bangalore.

Ganga king Prithivipati II was conferred "lord of the Banas" by Parantaka I Chola. Banas are mentioned in Tamil Nadu as late as 13th and 15th century. Banas had different titles in different regions at different times. Some of them include, Vanar/ Vanara/ Vanavarayar/ Vanakovarayar/ Ponparappinan, etc.

MISCELLANEOUS INSCRIPTIONS IN KANNADA -VOLUME IX - Part - I -CHOLAS -No. 299. -(A.R. No. 332 of 1912.) -ON A SLAB SET UP IN A FIELD AT KARSHANAPALLE, PUNGANUR ZAMINDARI, CHITTOOR DISTRICT.-The record is not dated. It refers itself to the reign of Sembiyan Mahabali-Banarasa and to the rule of Vikkiyanna over Pulinadu sixty. It records the death of Vikki and another hero in a battle with Pallvi(a)-Dhavala and that the hero's brother Kundiga set up stone in their memory. Sembiyan Mahabali-Banarasa was a subordinate of the Chola king Parataka I.

Volume_23/pandya_1.html - No. 430 (Page No 327) - (A. R. No. 430 of 1907) - Sinnamanaur, Periyakulam Taluk, Madurai District - Rajasimhesvara temple � on the same wall - Jat. Vira-Pandya (I) : year 26 : 1278-79 A.D. (?) - This seems to record a similar gift of an impost on certain articles of merchandise like betal-nut, pepper and rice agreed to contributed by the members of the community Padinenvishayattar of the four nagaram for a festival in Margali in the temple of Rajasimhesvaramudaiya-Nayanar at Arikesarinallur in Ala-nadu. Mention is also made of a bazaar to the east of Valangai -mikaman-tirumandapam built by (an officer) Pandiyadaraiyar in the name of Pillai Kulasekhara -Mahabali-Vanarayar. The members are stated to have met for their deliberation in the temple of Vikramapandisvaramudaiya -Nayanar at Sivallavan-padaividu.

INSCRIPTIONS COLLECTED DURING THE YEAR 1906-07 - PANDYA - No. 127 (Page No 99 ) (A. R. No. 127 of 1907) - Pappankulam, Ambasamudram Taluk, Tirunelveli District - Sidhajnanesvara temple --- on the same wall - Mar. Kulasekhara - is is also an inscription of the same king. The regnal year is lost but the details of date can be read as (Makara) ba. 14, Thursday, Anushanm. It registers another sale of land in their village by the same Uravar of Vikramapandya-nallur to the temple for 928 Danapala -guligai -panam. This also refers to a previous mortgage of the land made in the 8th year of the king. With two individual by name Vanarayar and Sulapanippillai for 728 panam which seems to have been paid back now to the mortgages out of this sale amount.

South Indian Inscriptions : 23. We are not quite so certain of the identity of Jatavarman Vira-pandya whose inscriptions from Sinnamanur and Kallidaikkurichchi (Nos.430 and 117) are respectively dated in the 26th and 28th years of his reign, but do not begin with any preamble giving his exploits. The former refers to a hall in the temple built by an officer of the king and called the vangai-Mikaman-Mandapam after the surname of one Pillai Kulasekhara-Mahabali-Vanarayar. No. 117 registers an endowment for a feeding house made by a certain Tirunilakantan Rajakkanayanar alias Tondaimanar of Puduvur in Ala-nadu.

SOUTH INDIAN INSCRIPTIONS - No. 6 - (A.R. No. 327 of 1912.) -ON A SLAB SET UP IN A FIELD AT KARSHNAPALLE, SAME SAMINDARI AND DISTRICT - This is not dated and refers itself to the reign of the Bana king Banarasa, who was also in charge of the Ganga six-thousand province when Ballaha i.e., the Rashtrakuta king led a campaign against Kaduvetti, for not paying tribute. On this occasion a certain servant of Banatattaran, himself a servant of Vijayitta, while returning on a horse near Kuntiala, died after slaying Ganamurti. Since the characters of the record are of the 9th century A.D. it may be assigned to the time of Vijayaditya II.

No. 7. (A.R. No. 313 of 1912.) - ON A VIRAGAL SET UP IN THE BACK-YARD OF A HOUSE IN CHALAMANGALA, SAME ZAMINDARI AND DISTRICT - This id damaged and not dated. It refers itself to the reign of king Banarasa of the Mahavali Bana family and seems to record the death of a warrior in a battle.

No. 8 (A.R. No. 323 of 1912.) -ON A SLAB BUILT INTO THE NADI-MANDAPA IN THE ARKESVARA TEMPLE AT KARSHANAPALLE, SAME ZAMINDARI AND DISTRICT - The record is not dated and is damaged. It mentions Banarasa of the Mahavali kula ruling over [Ganga] six-thousand province.

No. 11 - (A.R. No. 543 of 1906.) - ON A SLAB SET UP IN A FIELD IN FRONT OF THE VILLAGE CHADALLA, ON PUNGANUR-CHDUM ROAD, SAME ZAMINDARI AND DISTRICT - This undated record refers itslef to the reign of the Bana king Mahaali-Banarasa. It states that when some one was ruling Valla, situated in Badugavali, and when Banarasa led a campaign on behalf of Permanadigal against the Nolamba, Rachamalla and Mayindadi, Madhavarasa of Kinganur fought and, having slaing a number of men and horses in the battle of Soremadi, died. In recognition of his service the king bestowed (upon his family) land of three khamba.

Kokolu Anka Rao
date : 12/05/2008
Nagpur, M.S, India

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Maravar is another warrior tribe that is related to Tamil Muthurajas. Maravar are one of the oldest social groups to be mentioned by the Sangam Tamil literature. This indicates an association with the Tamil land which is at least 2,000 years old. Maravar, in Tamil, means a warrior. Maravars are the courageous breed and were involved in the major wars that Tamilnadu witnessed. Other historians postulate that Maravar is derived from Tamil language term Marutham. The name of the city Madurai is also postulated to be derived from Maruthai and honorific title of local Pandya kings.

The Maravar were, according to the Madras Presidency census report for 1891 "a fierce and turbulent race famous for their military prowess" and were "chiefly found in Madura and Tinnevely where they occupy the tracts bordering in the coast from Cape Comorin to the northern limits of the Ramnad Zemindari."The Dutch found them to be the traditional soldier caste of Jaffna and availed themselves of their caste services as such � one of the earliest instances of a colonial power making use of a specific military caste in South Asia.

As a community, the Mmaravars are hailed as patriotic, brave, courageous, and fighters for freedom. The Villupattu ballads `Poolithevan Kadai' and `Veerapandiya Kattabomman Kadai' are interesting to read. Their courage and love for freedom come out strongly. The Kallars and Agamudayars are part of the Maravar community as belonging to Mukkulathor. Poolithevan, who belonged to the Maravar community, was the first freedom fighter from Tamil Nadu, a fact not well known. The other Maravar warriors about who we can come across ballads are - Vandaiya thevar, Mechum Peruman Pandiyan, Sonamuthu Pandian, Balammal, Vannirajam, Vanniyadi Maravan and, Sappani Muthiah.

Puli or Pooli is one of the surnames of used by Maravars and this surname can also be seen among Tamil Muthurajas and Telugu Mudirajas. The Maravar in Madura and Tinnevelly likewise claim the position of Rajputs, and if we regard them as a warrior tribe, they are entitled to this distinction. They are also most probably in some way connected with Mars ( Maars ) of the North India. Marwari bhils belong to South Punjab north of Dadu and Nawabshah. They could be bhilalas of North India, who many times claimed to be Rajputs. two communities who Vanniars and Marwars of Tamilnadu were jains at one point of time. Mutharayars were the first kings who supported Jainism in South India. Vanniars were essentially a sea farers and traders, so were the Marwars. Marwars could most probably belonged to Marwad at some point of time and this was the region from where most Mudiraja relatribes came to South India. These clans mostly came from North where Jainism took its birth. For more details on Bhilalas please refer to page on "Bhillalas - Bhallalas - Vellalas" under "origins" in this website.

In Hindi and sanskrit language, the words "Mara" and "Maro" are related and points to Killing. Maravar or Maravan could mean They could be a killer tribe of Marwar region near Rajastan. . The Maravar have to a great extent preserved their freedom and independence They are brave, warlike, self willed like most semi barbarous races, but they have latterly taken to more peaceful pursuits than they used to follow formerly. Their chief was the Setupati of Ramnad, one of the oldest and most respected princes in South India, and who is still highly honoured.

The Uttumalai kings were members of the Maravar caste. Maravars are one of the three clans of Mukkulathor. There were as many palayams governed by maravars. Their history was officially recorded by Lord McEnzee and They have been published by State Archaeology Dept. You can find in them that Maravar zamins have refused to give their daughters to the Pandiya kings. They refused saying that they wont give their daughters to the "Chandra vamsa kings". It is a known fact that Pandiyan kings claimed them as Chandra kulam.

U. Muthuramalingam Thevar, also known as Pasumpon Muthuramalingam was an Indian politician. He hailed from the Maravar community, the dominant warrior caste group in his home district in southern Tamil Nadu. Thevar became the leader of the All India Forward Bloc in Tamil Nadu, and was national deputy chairman of the party from 1952 onwards. He was elected thrice to parliament. They were anti-British, anti-Congress and pro-Subhas Chandra Bose.

The Mukkulathors recovered under the Vijayanagar Empire and later under the Nayak dynasty during whose period they served as Polygars or chieftains. The Nayaks were actually governors appointed by Vijayanagar kings and were Naidus of Telugu origin. Later, after the fall of Vijayanagar, they established some measure of independence in the provinces which they governed and appointed individuals from the warrior Mukkulathor clans as their military chieftains and governors. After a century of peace and prosperity, the Nayak kingdom disintegrated and regional Polygar chieftains most of whom were from the Mukkulathor communities, making use of this opportunity, established their dominance and rule in the areas which they governed.

Resistance to British rule was also offered by Padal Vellaiya Devan who fought the British along with Kattabomman. His son Desakaval Senbaga Devar is also remembered for his exploits.

Queen Velu Nachiyar, Queen of Sivaganga, is another noted personality who fought with the British during early British Era. The Maruthu Pandiyar brothers are notable for their role in the Polygar Wars. They were eventually captured by the British and hanged in 1801.

According to the description in Kanakasabhi, the Maravars were men of curled locks of hair, blood thristy, armed with bow bound with leather, ever ready to injure others, shoot their arrows at poor and helpless travellers, from who they can rob nothing, only to feat their eyes on the quivering limbs of their victims. Thus the Maravars were represented as fierce warriors and merciless robbers as early as the first few centuries of Christian era. They were potrayed as outsiders in Tamilnadu in the early centuries. But they progressively changed as they wtitched over to settled agriculture and cultivation. They could not fit neatly coventional South Indian notion of caste hierarchy. They could be Kalabhras from South Andhra and Deccan India.

Many Maravars were Tamil Zamindars eith big or small. Maravars were warriors with a tradition of Lordship and protection in the village localities. They were similar to Kapus and Kavalgars in Andhra region. According to evidences collected by British officers from Tinnevelly district, the Maravars were 10 % of the population but committed 70 % of rural crime or dacoity. Some groups of these Marvars were declared as Criminal Tribes or Castes in 1911. The foremost among those designated as " Criminal Tribes " in the Madras presidency were the Kallars ans Maravars of Tamilnadu. During 1919 -20, about 1400 piramalai Kallars were brought under this section, the hours were fixed between 11 pm to 4 am, which compelled then to sleep at police station each day.

George Joseph, who established himself as a leading criminal lawyer in Madurai became quite affluent with a large house, a retinue of servants, a horse and carriage, etc. A promising legal career with the prospects of high judicial office in the future was cut short by his passionate involvement in public affairs. Right from the beginning of his practice , he espoused the cause of the so-called criminal tribes of Madurai like Paramalai Kallars, Maravars, etc.

The Maravars of Tamil Nadu were considered adivasis by some, Kshatriyas by some, and Dalits by yet some others. It is said thar Maravars considered themselves "above" Kallars and the Kallars in turn considered themselves above the Maravars. Both ruled large areas of TN and made raids on communities who considred themselves higher than them.

In 1929 the Maravars of 19 villages in Appanad were forced to registered under the CTA. Since 1920 the Criminal Tribes Act had been enacted by the government of the Madras Presidency and began to be implemented in the Madurai, Ramnad and Tirunelveli districts. After Sri U. Muthuramalingan Thevar's entry into politics, Thevar began to mobilize resistance to the CTA. He toured villages in the affected areas and led protest rallies for the rights of the individuals registered under the CTA. The authorities partially withdrew, and reduced the number of CTA registrations in the concerned areas from around 2000 to just 341.

The Kallars, like the Maravars, settled in mixed economy zones such as Pudukkottai on the borders of the central political and economic regions of the south. In these areas they quickly attained dominance in late medieval times by exercising rights of protection (patikkaval) over local communities and institutions. The Kallars were successful in this role because their strongly kin and territory based social structure and cultural valuation of heroism and honor were highly conducive to the corporate control of the means of violence and coercion. It was no accident that Kallars, like Maravars, were often, when not granted rights of protection, the very groups from which others sought protection.

The Tondaiman dynasty of Kallar kings wrested control over a significant swath of the Pudukkottai region in central Tamil Nadu in the last quarter of the seventeenth century. Whereas Kallars had been branded as thieves in much early Tamil literature and as criminals by the British under the Criminal Tribes Act, in Pudukkottai--a little kingdom that became the only Princely State in the Tamil region of southern India--they became the royal caste. Kallars controlled much of the land, occupied the greatest number of authoritative positions, particularly as village and locality headmen and as miracidars, and ran the most important temples as trustees. These temples were often their lineage, village, or subcaste-territorial (natu) temples, in which they received honors only after the king and Brahmans. In short, Kallars were dominant not only in terms of their numbers, but for economic, political, and ritual reasons.

Kallar and Maravar districts of South were notoriously unsettled. Kondavan Kottai Maravar is one such group that has been classified as Seer Marabinar. This group was categorized as Criminal Tribes during the British Rule. During the British Era. There were several decoity/armed robbery committed by Maravars during this period. To contain this activity the British declared laws that outlawed the tax collection and arrested several Maravar community members and subjected them to comply with several regulatory procedures.

About 90 in every hundred Kallars and 79 Maravars were cultivators, but have still of course leisure hours; inordinate attach- ment to their neighbors' goods and cattle makes them figure largely in jail statistics for theft and dacoity, their hereditary calling.They are known as cattle lifters. The opposite of the valorized martial caste, (whose members exuded fortitude, nobility, etc.) were the criminal castes, e.g., the Tamil Kallars. Some of the criminal castes demonstrated sustained antipathy to British rule. The District Magistrate must bring occasionally some of their settlements under the operation of the Criminal Tribes' Act passed in 1911. The Criminal Tribes Act of 1911, with the express objective of throughly obtaining knowledge of, supervising and disciplining the Kallar and Maravar who were classified as dacoits and thugs under this act.

Here is a writeup on the suppresiion of Tamil Martial castes Kallars, Maravars and Ahampadiyar. - What did the British mean by the Tamil habit of predatory war? The Tamil works which contain treatises on martial life and the conduct of war define it as Thannuru tholil (a task undertaken on one's own) and Mannuru tholil (a task undertaken on behalf of the king or commander) � Tholkappiyam, Purathinaiyiyal, Unlike many other martial castes of the subcontinent, the Kallar and the Maravar were not yeoman peasants who dropped the plough for the sword only in times of war. They had to seek battles even when their king or chieftain was not at war. Most of the hero-stones found in Tamilnadu commemorate such battles between groups of Kallar or Maravar.

Some of the warrior gods who are worshipped to this day in southern Tamil Nadu are Maravar, who distinguished themselves in such battles which took place even after the British began to abolish the culture of predatory war. The bow-song of Eena Muthu Pandian, a Tamil demigod, describes the martial life and heroic deeds of that Maravar warrior who lived in British times. The warrior's virtue was to desire the bliss of the hero's heaven; it was degrading for him to seek fertile lands. The most important structure which gave the Kallar and Maravar immense power in the Tamil country-side was the system of kaval. It was abolished in 1832. This has been the traditional means by which the Kallar, Maravar and Ahampadiyar derived their livelihood in times of peace when they were not employed as soldiers. The Kallar and Maravar who had been referred to as the military tribes of the southern provinces by early British writers were classified as criminal tribes towards the end of the nineteenth century.

The manual of the Tinnevely district, described the origins of the Maravar kavalkarars thus: "As feudal chiefs and heads of a numerous class of the population, and one whose characteristics were eminently adapted for the followers of a turbulent chieftain, bold active, enterprising, cunning and capricious, this class constituted themselves or were constituted by the peaceful cultivators, their protectors in times of bloodshed and rapine, when no central authority existed. Hence arose the system of desha and stalum kaval, or the guard of separate villages. The feudal chieftain (and his Kallar and Maravar) received a contribution from the area around his fort in consideration of protection afforded against armed invastion." It was ascertained that "according to native ideas", husbandry was their only proper means of livelihood and that they had no established traditions of kingship, like Kallar and Maravar. The Madurai Manual noted that Aryanayaga Mudali, the great general of the sixteenth century was dissuaded from making himself a king on the ground that no Vellalan ought to be a king.

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Agamudayar also known as Agam Padaiyar or defending soldiers indicating a specialization as soldiers or rulers. Thevars of Ramanthapuram district are given the title Servai. Servai is one of the surnames of Tamil Muthurajas. Some believe these castes formed as part of military formation of Kallap-Padai or hustlers, Marap-Padai or soldiers and Agap-Padai or defenders, There is lot of evidence that has been put forward towards this theory. One among this is chola king raja raja who has udayar surname married a vellala girl of kodumbalur velir there son was called as rajendra chola. Saluva Narasimharaya also used the title Udayar.

There is a group of Agamudayars in Northern Tamil Nadhu (Thiruvannamalai, Vellor, Arani, Arcot).They migrated from Madurai in 17th century. They have other surnames like Udayar,Mudhaliyar, Arcot Mudhaliyar and Thuluva Vellalar.

Avippali, Thannai, Verttal, Vallan pakkam, Pun Kilithu Mudiyum Maram and Marakkanchi are the forms of martial suicide and suicidal battle of the warrior as the ultimate expression of his loyalty to his commander. These six forms of martial suicide are defined as described by the works referred to above.

In late 1895, the Board of Land Revenue raised the possibility of declaring as 'criminal tribes' the entire body of 'martial'castes in the southern districts of the Presidency�Kallar, Maravar and Agambadiyar, numbering upwards of one million individuals.

Kallar, Maravar, Agamudaiyar basically kalabhras who infiltered into the Pandiya and chola royal castes and ruled the pandiya nadu and chola nadu. Kallar mainly lived and are still populas on the northern pandian territory or Thanjavur, Thiruchirappalli, Dindugal, Madurai districts.

Maravar are brave warriors who met head-on. They lived and are still populas on the northern Pandian Territory next to Kallar belt in the districts of Ramnad, Madurai, Raja Palayam, Thirunelveli. They shared the ruling titles of Pandiyans for their bravery. Raja of Ramnad is the fact for this. When the pandian suffered defeat at the hands of Nayaks and Muslims of Vijayanagar Empire, These 3 castes stood guard and gave their life in protecting the assets of Madurai Meenakshi temple and its chain of temples down south. They retained the pandian control and still are dominant in the southern pandiyan districts of Tamilnadu.

Agamudaiyar formed the police force and did security jobs. They bascially stood guard for Temple, Farm lands, Nadan hamlets. They are called servai in Thirunalveli, Thoothukudi districts. Maruthu Sagothararkal are marked for their guard of Kalayar koil against the war with British. They are scaterd all thro Pandiyan Territory mainly to all temple cities. "In Madurai - West Masi Street,their community people formed a AGAMUDAIYAR ARAN(Maruthu pandiyar mandram)".

Agamudayars = Udayars = Wodeyars = Odeyars

Kokolu Anka Rao
date : 12/05/2008
Nagpur, M.S, India

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Mutracha (Muthracha = Mutharacha = Mudiraj ) was once listed under notified by British as Criminal castes & tribes. Later after Independence it was put under denotifieed list by India. Mutracha and Mutrasa are synonym of Mutrasi. Mutrasi, Mutrasa, Muthrasi, Mutracha are from the Dravidian roots mudi, old, and racha, a king, or from Mutu Raja, a sovereign of some part of the Telugu country. The other alternative names are � Mutharaja, Mudiraj, Muthrasollu, MutRraj, Mutrasa, Mutratcha, Muttaracha, Muttarasan, Muttirajulu, Muttiriyan . The linguistic equivalents like Erukula and Mutrasi are noticeable still in Rayalaseema region

Mutrasis were traditional fisherfolk caste. Mutrasis are known as Tenugollu. There is one Mutrasi colony near Anakapalli in West Godavari diostrict of A.P. Mutrasi tribe pride themselves on being called Bantus (sepoys), and cherish a tradition that the ancient armies armies were composed of soldiers recruited mostly from their caste.

The fishermen in Pillaipalli village of Nalgonda belong to the Muthrasi caste. They have a society of which men from all 12 muthrasi households are members. Almost all the fishermen in this village are marginal farmers or renters of land for subsistence rice production with their main income derived from their own and other household members� agricultural labour. Some of the fish (approximately 25%) is sold within the village. The trader after deducting the cost of the seed pays the remaining amount to the society of the fishermen. This amount is equally divided among the members. It is not necessary that the fish is harvested every year. Sometimes the fish is harvested once in two years if the size is not big enough.

When British colonized India, few fishing villages in the eastcoast attracted the British. The survey revealed that this area seldom suffers from great cyclones! British built a fort here. They employed local people in to state service. Muthrasi, a caste in south India, used to serve in the British police. Still you can find more Muthrasi or Mutharaasi caste people in and aroud Chennai. They are also spread into nearby Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The service rendered by Muthrasi people impressed the colonial masters. The new growing town acquired the name of Muthrasi and later Madras.

The Muthuraja or the Muthrasi people are known as Muttiriyan or Muttiriyar. The name Muthuraja is derived from the word mudi, meaning top most and raja, ruler. Mudiraj also means ancient king or old king. The Muthuraja have several occupational subgroups, which indicate place, professions, ancestors, etc. Some claim to be Kshatriyas, others consider themselves as untouchable Sudras. They are distributed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.

The late Kamaraj Nadar, one of the lost tribesmen of truly honest leaders of the Congress, had once observed that one-third of all communities in Tamil Nadu are of Andhra origin. These had occurred in three-four large 'bursts': during the period of the vijayanagara rulers and after them, the nayaks, the maratha rulers, the british period when madras became the capital of a large dominion consisting of telugu, tamil and kannada regions.

The Muthrasi speak the Tamil language and use Tamil script. Muthuraja are mainly a land owning community and their traditional occupation is agriculture. Rice, jowar, maize and ragi are their staple cereals.

It is common to have marriages arranged through negotiation. Dowry is given in both cash and kind. Both widowed and divorced persons are allowed to remarry. They live in nuclear families and adhere to male equigeniture for inheritance.

Traditionally the Muthrasi were employed as soldiers and guards. At present cultivation, fishing, masonry, agriculture and industrial labor, daily-wages are their primary occupations. Some of the Muthrasi are professional ballad singers. They also prepare fishing nets and tramping devices and are experts in making crackers and explosives.

The sacred specialists from their community perform worship, birth, marriage and death rituals. They also practice ancestor worship every year on Pithru Amavasya, while offerings are made to their ancestors. They have both Shaivite and Vaishnavite sections in their community.

Muttaracha had a variety of modified names such as Muttirajulu, Muttarasan, and Mutratcha. The people of this caste is known by any one of these names in the Telugu speaking lands, and in the Tamil speaking country it is known as Muttirayan and also as Palaiyakkaran.

The Muttarachas are a Telugu Caste ane they are most numerous in Krishna, Nellore, Kuddapah( Kadapa) districts of Andhra Pradesh and also North Arcot districts of Tamilnadu. The Muttaracha warriors were employed by the Vijayanagar kings to defend their country frontiers, and were honoured with the title of Paligars (Palaiyakkarans). The word Muthracha is derived from the Dravidian roots - Mudi and Racha. There is also another derivation is from Mutu Raja, which means a soveriegn of some part of Telugu country. They eat animal meat , fowl and drink liquor. Some of them eat pork. They do not eat beef. The use honorific titles such as Dora and Naidu.

Mudi = Old or Ancient or Great
Mutha = A cluster of villages forming an administrative unit.
Racha = King

Mutharacha = Raja or Chief of a Mutha
Dora = Lord or Sahib

Mutha + Racha = Mutharacha
Mutharacha => Muthracha => Mutracha
Mutracha => Mutrasa => Mutrasu => Mutrasi

In the North Arcot district, they are in great numbers in Chendragiri taluk. They are found all over the district as the village taliaris or watchmen. Because of this reason, this cate is often called Taliari caste. They proudly call themselves as paligars, and in Chendragiri as Doralu (Lords), because several of the Chittoor Palaiyams (Villages governed by Paligars) were in possession of members of their caste. They seem to have entered the country in the time of Vijayanagar kings, and to have been appointed as its kavilgars (Watchmen). The caste is usually esteemed by others as a low one. Most of its members are poor, even when they have left the profession of talaiari, and taken to agriculture. They eat in the houses of most other castes, and are not trammelled by many restrictions. In chendragiri, they rarely marry , but form connections with women of their caste, which are often permanent, though not sanctioned by the marriage ceremony, and the offsring of such associations are regarded as legitimate.

( The Mutharacha men who used to live with women of their caste without marriage could possibly be the commando members of suicide squads employed by the Vijayanagar kings. )

In Nellore, Mutrachas are known as hunters, fishermen, bearers, palanquin-bearers, and hereditary watchmen in the villages.

Some times, Mutracha or Mutrasan is known as a sub-division of Urali, and a title of Ambalakkaran . Muttiriyan is a Tamil form of Mutracha, and appears as a title and subdivision of Ambalakkaran. It is also observed that Tolagari is recorded as a sub-division of Mutracha. The Tolagaris are stated to be a small cultivating caste, who were formerly hunters, like the Palayakkarars. Most of the Mutrachas are engaged in agriculture.

In the Karnool and other Rayalaseema districts, Mutrachas used to collect winged white-ants (flyinf termites = usillu), which they store in large pots as an article of food after drying them in sunlight. They are said to make use of some special powder as a means of attracting these flying white ants, in catching which they are great experts.

It is said that in some places, the relations between Mutrachas and Gollas (Velirs) are strained . Both these warrior groups were chiefs in Kodumbalu region and had matrimonial relations too. On the occasions of marriage among the caste people of Madigas, some pan-supari is set apart for the Mutrachas, as a mark of respect.

In consequence of the fact that some Mutrachas have been petty chieftains, they claim to be the Kshatriyas, and to be descended from Yayati of Mahabharatha.

There is a saying current among the Mutharachas that the Mutracha caste is as good as pearal, but became degraded as its members began to catch fish. According to a legend, the Mutrachas, being kshatriyas, wore the sacred thread (Jenhevu = Jandhyamu). Some of them, on their way home after a hunting expedition, halted by a pond, and were tempted by the enormous number of fish therein to fish for them, using their sacred threads as lines. They were seen by some brahmanas while thus engaged, and their degradation followed. In Telugu country, two divisions, called paligiri and Oruganti, are recognized by Mutrachas, who further have exogamous sects or intiperulu (surnames).

One section of Palli or Pallava tribe, called Muttarasar ( Telugu Mutracha ) ruled in the Chola country first as feudatories of Pallava and then of the Pandya kings, during the 8th Century A.D. It was during this period that Naladiyar was composed under the auspices of the Muttarasa governers. They are still to be found in the North Arcot district under the name of Talaiyaris, and many poligars of Chittor and other minor rulers are of this class. Of such tributaries were the kings of Tanjore, who ruled in the 8th Century A.D with vallam near Tanjore, as their capital.

A caste which is numerous in Hyderabad and Madras, and of which a few persons are found in the Chanda District of the Central Provinces. The Mutrasis are the village watchmen proper of Telingana or the Telugu country. They were employed by the Vijayanagar kings to defend the frontier of their country, and were honoured with the title of Paligar. Their usual honorific titles at present are Dora (Sahib or Lord) and Naidu. As servants they are considered very faithful and courageous.

Some of them have taken to masonry ( Beldars ) in Chanda, and are considered good stone-carvers. These Beldars worship Goddess Ankala or Ankalamma or Ankamma. Even Kapewars ( Kapus ) of chanda also worship Goddess Ankamma and also work as Beldars. Both Kapus and Mutrasi people are one and the same people and it appears that Balija sect of Kapus were part of Mudiraju Bantus during medieval times. They seems to be closely related to Takankars who worship Goddess Kalanka. Takankars are sharpners of domestic stone grinders.

These Mutrasis are a comparatively low caste, and eat fowls and drink liquor, but they do not eat beef or pork. It is compulsory among them to marry a girl before she arrives at adolescence, and if this is not done her parents are put out of caste, and only readmitted on payment of a penalty.

Their village deities are Malleswara, Venteswara, Muneswar, Someswara, etc. They celebrate local Hindu festivals like Ugadi, Sankranti, Ekadasi, Diwali, Ram Navami, etc.

Nellore people participated in Indian Independence movement and also in fight for formation of separate state for Telugu people. Notable freedom fighters are Muttharaju Gopalarao and Potti Sriramulu. A street in Nellore is named as "Muttaraju Street / Muttharaja Street" after him.

The Kaduvetti Muttaraiyan was a king who belonged to Mthracha community. We have an Inscription No. 44 -(A. R. No. 89 of 1921) -Pillaipalayam, Conjeeveram Taluk, Chingleput District. On a slab built into the floor at the entrance into the Tirumerrali temple -This is a fragmentary record of Dantivikramavarman. It mentions a certain [Ka]duvetti-Muttaraiyan at whose request an endowment of 4 patti of land was made to the old temple of Vishnu called Tirumerrali at Iraiyancheri and to a matha, probably attached to it. Reference to a Kaduvetti-Muttarasan who made a raid on Koyattur in the reign of the Bana king Vijayaditya Virachulamani Prabhumeru is noticed in a record from Punganur (No. 542 of 1906). This chief was probably identical with the Kaduvetti-Muttaraiyan mentioned in the present inscription as he lived about this period. Nandivarman III.

Western Ganga king Shivamara �I was succeded by his son(or grandsond) Sripurusha Muttarasa. Advantage had been taken of the confusion into which South India was plunged on the fall of he Badami Empire by a prince of Ganga race by name Sivamara. He was the hereditary ruler of what was known as the "Kongal Nad Eight Thousand". There are records in Mysore which may be assigned to him, one of which mentions him solely by name, without any regal title of any kind. But uses a technical expression which stamps him as holding a rank and authority considerably greater that those of any more local Governor, and others which speak of him as the "Konguni King", a term applied to all his successors. His date has been tentatively fixed as 755-765 A.D. His title at first was the same as his father's but there is evidence on his inscriptions that he gradually felt his way to independence. He is known later by the title "Maharajadhiraja" and "Paramesvara". The territory he ruled over coincided more or less with the south eastern portion of what is now Mysore State; it was technically known as the "Gangavdi 96,000" i.e., a province of 96,000 villages; his capital was Talakad, a sand buried city on the banks of the Kaveri near Kollegal. His reign was a long one of at least 42years, adn his date may be tentatively fixed as 764-805 A.D.

It appears that Muttarasa had two sons, the elder Sivamara II and the younger Rana-vikrama. It is claimed, in the spurious Manne Grant, that one Sivamara won a name for himslef by victories over the armies of the Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas and others, and that he "defeated the countless cavalry of Dhruva which had overrun the whole earth." It is possible that Sivamara II was entrusted with the command of his father's armies, and during the campaign was defeated and captured by Dhruva, that on his father's death, he was liberated by Govinda III, "to take up the leadership of the Gangas," and was crowned by him as his vassal, (about A.D. 805).

The Kolar Ganga Sivamara II was succeeded by his son Prithivipathi I, who seems like Amoghavarsha and Nandi-vikrama-varman, to have enjoyed a very long reign. His daughter married the Bana Vikramaditya I, and he was in close alliance with the Ganga-Pallavas. The Talakad Gangas appear to have enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity under Rana-vikrama (son of sripurursha-Muttarasa) and his som Rajamalla (c.840-871.) The latter commented an alliance with the Nolambas by giving his daughter Jayable to the Nolamba king Nolambadhiraja,s son of Pallavadhiraja.

Kokolu Anka Rao
date : 12/05/2008
Nagpur, M.S, India

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The Mutrasa people are also known as Bantlu or Bantus. The Tuluva Mudaliars are same people as Mudiraju Bantlu. Bantu means faithful royal servant who can sacrifise his life the sake of his master. They often formed the members of suicide squads to fulfill the mission tasks set by their kings.

Mutharaiyars => Muthariyars
Muthariyars => Muthaliyars => Mudhaliyars => Mudaliyars.

These bant people are spread into Tulu speaking lands of Karnataka ans even Kerala. They are known as bunts in Karnataka. They are agriculturists and traders today. The great freedom fighter Rani Abbakka belonged to Bunt community of Mangalore. There is sufficient proof with many common surnames that balijas were once part of Mudiraju Bantlu during medieval times.

Tulu Bants in Kannada-Telugu armies - Tulu people used the word 'bant' or 'bante' initially for a professional body guard, usually trained in the �garodi�(=ancient gymnasium of Tulunadu) of martial arts. The word has similar meaning in Kannada and Telugu also. The Tulu chieftains, Alupas had socio-political and matrimonial alliance with Kannada kings since the period of Kadambas. And the Tulu �bants� served in the army of Kadamba and Chalukya Kannada kings as soldiers and bodyguards, between the period of 5th and 10th centuries.

In Telugu Mudiraju / Tamil Mutharaya communities, of Andhra and Tamilnadu, bants form a subcaste. Mudiraju people were fishermen, cultivators, special soldiers, warriors and ruling class at different times in the history. It is reported that Vellala (<.Ballala) bants migrated from Tulunad Karavali to Andhra in the historical period. This was because a part of Andhra was governed by Kannada Chalukya kings during the 7th to 8th centuries AD.

Since a large number of Tulu farmers, (Okkaliga/ Nadava/Nair) were professional bants during the Tulu and Dravidian history, the word was subsequently adopted as a community name. The Tulu bunts has become a composite community group now, apparently evolved from several streams of people, during the history of Tulunad like Okkaligas (farmers), Alupas (> Alva), Nairs, Nadavas, and converts from Jainism.

Kalla Bantru from Curumeru wandering tribe are basically kuruvars or Erukalas relating to Kakatiya Erukalas. The vagrants called kuravers or kurumeru ( curumeru ) are divided into three branches. One of these is chiefly engaged in the traffic of salt, which they go, in bands, to the coat to procure, and carry it to the interior of the country on the kacks os asses, which they have in great droves; and when they have disposed of their cargoes ; they reload the beasts with the sort of grain in the great request on the coastal to which they return without loss of time. Thus their whole lives are passed in transit, without a place of settlement in any part of land.

The trade of another branch of the Krumeru is manufacture of osier panniers, wicker baskets and other house hold utencils of that sort, or bamboo mats. This class, like the preceeding, are compelled to traverse the whole country, from place to place, in quest of employment. The language of Erukalas is also known as Kurru bhasha.

Kuruva => Kurava => Kuravar => Kuruver
Kuruver => Kurumer = Kurumeru

The Kalla Bantrus are the third brach of wandering tribe Curumeru who seems to be closely related to Banjaras and Erukalas. Kalla or Calla bantrus were robbers. Indeed those who compose this caste are generally thieves or sharpers by profession and birth right. The sharpers of stone grinding machines are known as Tankankars in Central & North India and are related to Erukalas. The distinction of expertness in filching belongs to this tribe, the individuals which it consists having been trained to knavery from their infancy. They are instructed in other learning , and the only they communicate to their children is that of stealing adroitly, unless we except that of being prepared with a round lie, and with a determined resolution to endure every sort of torture rather than to confess the robberies which are laid to their charges.

Far from being ashmed of their infamous profession, they openly glory in it; and when they have nothing to fear they publicly boast with greatest self complacency of the dexterous robberies they have committed at various times during their career. Some who have been caught and wounded in the act, or who had their nose and ears, or perhaps their hand cut off for the offence, exbit their loss with ostentation, as a mark of their intrepidity, and those are the men who are generally chosen to be the chiefs of their caste.

It is commonly in the dead of night that they commit their depredations. Then they enter the villages silently, leaving their sentinels at the avenues, while others seek out the houses that may be attacked with the least danger of detection, and so make good their entry and pillage them. The Kalla- bantru are so experts in this spices of robbery, that in less than half an hour they will carry of a rich lading of plunder without being heard or suspected till daylight discloses the villany.

These Kalla Bantru are, however, far from being vulgar thieves. In the Musulman kingdoms of India, they are authorized by the government, which grants them a licence in consideration of receiving half the booty. The princes have always in their services a great number of Kalla Bantru, whom they employ in their calling, which is that of plundering for their masters profit. The last Musulman prince who reigned in the Mysore had a regular battalion of them on service in time of war, not for the purpose of fighting in the field but to prowl and infest the enemy�s camp in the night, stealing away the horses and other necessaries of of the officers, spiking the cannon, and acting as spies. They were rewarded in proportion to the dexterity they displayed in their achievements; and in time of peace cthey were dispatched into the various states of neighbouring princes, to rob for the benefit of their masters, besides discharging their ordinary duty of spies.

A landowning caste called Bunts have community members among Tulu and Kannada. Nairs or Nayars and bunts belong to same cast. Like Bunts and Nadavas (and other tuluva people) Nairs too follow their own form of inheritance called Marumakkathayam, which is �ali katt�. According to another legend ahikshetra was a place on the banks of Saraswati river. �ahi� means snake (chiefly serpent). It is believed that we Bunts were �naga or serpent worshipers prior to being buta/boota or spirit worshipers. Varma is a common surname of Nairs and Bunts. Again �Nayak� is a Bunts surname, mainly from Nakre village in Karkala Taluk. Majority of Nadavas of North Canara have got surname Nayaka. Father of famous queen Chennamma was Siddappa Shetty and her husband was (Siva) Nayaka. There is also a belief that the Nairs are Nagas and were already present in Kerala when Namboodiris came to Kerala. Nairs were martial Dravidian Nagas who had migrated like them, from the North. Like Bunts, affinity of the Nair community to Serpents and Serpent worship is indisputable. The mythical version says that Nairs being Kshatriyas belonging to the Nagavansham who removed their �Janivara� (sacred thread) and escaped to south to evade Parasurama. These seems to be thw kalachuri or kalachedi descendants and who were the enemies of Parasurama.

There are people who say that the Bunts themselves ruled the region around Mangalore. 'Bunta' in old Kannada literally means a soldier or a warrior. According to Govind Pai, the renowed Kannada poet, 'Alupa' rulers became Tulu 'Aluvas' and Alupa dynasty is synonymous with Naga dynasty and Tulu people are the same as the those Chandra dynasty. There is a reference to people from Tulunad in ancient greek texts and historical references to Alva clans in Tulunad way back in 150 AD. According to another theory as researched by Prof S. Shivaram Shetty of Basrur, the Kosar tribe from the North came south after the Aryan invasion. This powerful and martial tribe wandered in the Decan for a few years as mercenaries of the local rulers. While some settled in Andhra Pradesh and founded Satavahana kingdom, some settled in Tuluva region and founded the Aulpa kingdom.

Some believe that Nattars of Tamilnadu became Nadava bunts of Tulunadu. Another interesting feature of the Bunt community is that they speak both Tulu and Kannada languages. North of river Kalyanapura, they are called Nadavas and speak Kannada while south of the river they speak Tulu and are called Bunt's. It is said that a few centuries ago, the Jain ruler of Tulunad, started 'rajamata'. A number of locals joined this new sect and were called 'Nadavas' as they were locals or people from the local 'nadu'. These Nadavas rose to prominence in service and army and the heroic and loyal Nadavas were sent to the southern region. Here they found fame and fortune and the leaders of the army were called 'Bhats' and 'Buntaru'. So the people in the north of Tulunad are called Nadavas and in the south 'Bunts' according to late Polali Sheenappa Hegde.

The rise of Vijayanagara Empire with Tulunad becoming a province of it, brought about political separation of the region-North and South of Kalyanpura river. While north of the river they continued to call themselves Nadavas, those south called themselves Bunts-which denoted a higher position. Jain and Bunt's have a close relationship in the Dakshina Kannada region. Bunts were here before the arrival of Brahmanism and Jainism into the region. It is said that many Bunt's with high social standing were converted to Jainism into the region. It is said that many Bunt's with high social standing were converted to Jainism and took to that religion many of the Bunt social customs like Aliyasanthana which is not found in Jainism elsewhere. Also Bunt surnames like Chowta, Banga, Ajila, found coinage in Jainism.

Tuluva Vellala and bant Mudiraja are one and the same people. The kalabhras, who were bunt mudaliars ( Mudiraju bantlu ), ruled tamilakam for 3 centuries and ill-treated brahmins, and took away all their land given as bhamadeya by villagers & kings. In turn the Brahmins, cleverly and cunningly destroyed the history of kalabhras by replacing the facts by cookedup legends. Every legend written by Brahmins was an utter lie. For example, the name of Thanjavore was originally a � Thananjaya Ur� but the anti Mutharayar and anti Buddhist Brahmins framed a legend as if it was named after a demon �Tanjam�. If the existence of the demon Tanjam was true, then he was perhaps non other than the Mutharayar king � Thananjaya ( Dhananjaya) Rayar. Thananjayarayar is one of the the surnames of Tamil Mutharaiyars.

Krishna Deva Raya; father Narasa Nayaka was tuluva bunt from south canara district, same community as Aishwarya Rai, Suniel Shetty, Shilpa Shetty, Sandeep Chowta, etc. Krishna Deva Raya�s mother was a Telugu woman and most probably from Chandragiri region near Tirupati.

Bant (Tulu), banta (Kannada) and bantu (Telugu) all these words basically imply the same meaning that is a reliable assistant and/or bodyguard. The Telugu meaning of Bantu, a suicide squad, is only expansion of the basic meaning. In early days, Bantu meant a professional bodyguard who can be relied upon. The words BANT, BANTA and BANTU are all having their origin in the word BANJARA.

Banjara => Ban(t)jara => Bant (j)ara => Bantara
Bantara => Banta => Bant => Bunt
Banta => Bata => Bhata => Bhatudu
Bhata = Bhatudu = bodyguard

The Banjaras are non other than the Vanaras mentioned Valmiki Ramayana. Vanaras of Ramayana and the bhils of Mahabharata and of today are one and the same.

Vanachara => Vanjara => Banjara
Vanachara => Vanjara => Vanara

There were Bantus in Kakatiya army. Gundaya Nayaka, a subordinate of Kakatiya Prataparudra who held the position of Gaja-Sahini ( commander of elephant troops ), had nayakas under him who acted as officers (Pradhani). The bulk of his soldiers were divided into the two basic ranks of RAUTU and BANTU. The rautus were "horse riding warriors" and the bantus were the "foot soldiers". Some Kakatiya bantus were not the members of organised war-bands but instead seem to have been stationed in the country side. Among the war bands that were closely associated with Kakatiyas, the retinue (parivara) of Gundaya Nayaka figures in three different incriptions from Magatala town in Mahabubnagar District, where it was apparently garriosoned.

Elsewhere bantu may have just meant a warrior or soldier who had sworn a personal oath of allegaince to some one, since several nayakas attached to non-kakatiya rulers call themselves their lor's bantu. Here bantu could mean a samantha king and a servant of his supreme king. There are some people having surname - Bantu. Some bants of Karnataka use Rai, Shetty or Setty as surnames.

The bant are an immigrant community in Maharastra and are distributed in Western Districts of the state. Originally they are from South Karnataka. The historical evidence or oral tradition pertaining to their migration in Maharastra can not be recalled. The major part of this community is concentrated in Bombay and its suburban districts. They are chiefly the land owning and cultivating class in Karnataka. They are also called by different names such as Bants, Bakada, and Bakadigs. In Tulu language the word "bunt" means a strong powerful person and they regard themselves as belonging to a warrior class originally. In the Jati Purana, they relate their origin to Parasurama.

The bunts are non-vegetarian and eat fish, egg and meat. They do not consume beef and pork. Their staple food is rice and they consume all varieties of locally available vegetables including roots. Masur daal is altogether is avoided. Groundnut oil is commonly used as the cooking medium. Milk anfd fruits are regular items in their daily diet.

Bakadigs - are found only at Ankola in the Kanara District. According to Bombay Gezetter the word Bakad is said to come from Hindustani 'Bak' a crop estimate, because their wages are paid in grain not in cash. But it seems probable that the caste is an outcaste section of the bants, recruited to a certain extent from other castes also such as - Konkan, Jain, Kumbi, Kare Vakkal, Sheragi Vakkal, Bant and Maratha. They call themselves bants a canarese term for warriors, and state that they came from Bantaval, a village near Mangalore, and that they were once bants, the chief middle class of Sudra husbandmen in South Kanara, and that they were put out of caste and have no intercourse with their parent stock.

Badakas are Hindus. The caste follow the Hindu law of inheritence. Their special attachment to Thirupathi Balaji and their great faith in soothsaying ^ wichcraft points to the fact that they are a branch of Erukalas of Andhra Pradesh and were part of Mudiraju Bantlu. This branch of Erukalas who established and ruled Kakatiya kingdom were known as Kaikadis. Many of their social customs piints to the fact that they Mudiraju Bantlu having more of a hunting background than that of cultivation.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 12/05/2008
Nagpur, M.S, India

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The Kodava kingdom was ruled by Mudduraja (Mudiraj ) King who was a Kodava. The Kodavas are the people living in the Kodagu region of Karnataka, which lies in the Western Ghats. The Kodagu (also known as the Coorg) live in the Kodagu (Coorg) district of Karnataka. The word kodagu means "situated to the west," and their district, Coorg, stands in the ridges of the Western Ghat Mountains. They speak a Dravidian language that is also called Kodagu. Kodava is a language spoken by Coorgis, a warrior community of Kodagu distrrict in Karnataka state. There was also another town called Chikamangalore, in the Coorg district nestling in the Western Ghats with its verdant coffee estates. It was known for its famous warriors, the 'Kodagas' who have always been a part of the Indian Armed Forces.

Kodagu Muddurajas and Keladi Bedar ( Valmiki) Nayakas are one and the same people
Keladi was a kingdom in the Malnad area of Karnataka. The first king of Keladi was Chowdappa Nayaka who came to the throne in 1500. He was considered a great hero. In about 1645, the able king, Shivappa Nayaka came to the throne. During his reign, many reforms were effected in Keladi. This king became famous as a great ruler because of his far reaching administrative reforms. Shivappa Nayaka and Chennamma were important rulers of this kingdom.

Chowdappa Nayaka of Keladi kingdom seems to indicate his connection to the people of Tuluva bunts, Balija & Mudiraju. These people are having surnames - Chowda, Chowta & chowti respectively. This gives us a clue that these Bedars / Valmikis could also be representing sections of Mudiraju Bantlu, the suicide squads of Mudiraj community. For more details see (i) Chowta surname in the web page "Surnames", (ii) Chowta dynasty in the web page "kingdoms" and (iii) Rani Abbakka in the web page "Queens" in this MUDIRAJA website.

Chowda => Chowta = Chowti
We can further discover one more fact that the Kodagu Muddurajas (Mudiraj) cland were non other than the Bedar Nayakas (Valmikis) of Keladi kingdom. While these bedars (Kannappa kula = Vetars ) are a subsect of Muthuraja community in Tamilnadu, the same people who are known as valmikis in Andhra & Karnataka are a subsect of Mudiraj in Andhra Pradesh.

Tamil Muthurajas = Telugu Mudirajas = Kodagu Muddurajas = Keladi Nayakas = Valmikis = Bedars

Kodagu Mudduraja (Mudiraj) clans were Keladi Nayakas (Valmikis)
In the 16th century, in the aftermath of the fall of Vijayanagara Empire, the Keladi Nayaks of Ikkeri consolidated power in Kodagu and established the Paleri (Haleri) dynasty (so called because of their capital in Paleri). Paleri kings, who were Lingayats of Veerashaiva faith, ruled the region for more than 200 years (1580 � 1834). The first ruler of Paleri dynasty was Vira Raja. His grandson Muddu Raja I was a popular ruler and ruled for more than 50years. He moved his headquarters to current day Madikeri in 1681. It was called Muddu Raja Keri and later shortened to Madikeri (anglicized as Mercara). Under the Paleri dynasty Kodagu attained a status as an Independent kingdom. For more details on Muddurajas (Mudiraj ) of Karnataka, please see for Kodagu Dynasty on web page "KINGDOMS" in this MUDIRAJA website.

Vetars = Vedars = Bedars = Valmikis = Muddurajas = Mudhirajas = Muthurajas

The Muttani Raja of Kalahasti seems to be the same as the Muttu Raja referred to in the traditions of the Ambalakkarans, the Muttiriyans, the Uralis and the valaiyans. All these sections are different subcastes of Tamil Muthuraja community.

Muttaniraja => Mutturaja

According to vettuva legend, Muttani Raja was a son of one Vijayan, born to him by a jungle girl, with whom he fell in love when hunting, and whose father he slew. Vijayan's father was kannappa nayanar was the eldest of ten brothers, sons of a vedar girl who contracted a gandharva marriage with a descending of yayathi, one of the heroes of the Mahabharata. NO historical evidence has been added to corroborate the migration legends of these castes, but the community of tradition probably points to a community of origin, and the legend of a vettuva Raja still clings to Sankaridrug (Sankaridurga), Salem district, Tamilnadu. Kannappa Nayanar was also known as Bedara Kannapa in Karnataka.These Bedars are also known as Nayakas and Valmikis in Bellary, the ancient Telugu country of Kishkinda Vanaras.

Veta = Hunt
Vetar => Vettuvar => Vettuva = Vettuvan
Vetar => Vedar => Vedara
Vetar => Betar => Bedar => Bedara

The earliest inscription of Kodagu belongs to the Ganga dynasty which ruled from Talakad. It is a copper plate inscription and is famous as Mercara copper plate of Ganga King Avinita who ruled from 466 to 529 AD. Actually it is a set of three copper plates secured by a ring and an elephant seal. This inscription is now exhibited in Lutheran Museum at the town of Basle in Switzerland. The Western Gangas who ruled this part of country were known as Muttarasa kings. One of the famous kings of Western Ganga was Sripurusha and he assumed the title of Muttarasa as per his incriptions. The Kodava warrior clans seems to be closely related to Western Ganga Muttarasa kings.

The Kodavas of Coorg / Kodagu could be the Koravas of Tamilnadu in their origin. Koravas are Bhil Erukala variants. The Mudduraja (Mudiraj) was one of the well known ruler Kodagu Kingdom. They are one of the most famous warrior clans in India and Karnataka in particular. It seems that the land of Kodavas means the land of Koravas. The Korwa tribe is also known as Kodaku in Madhya Pradesh.

Korava => Korva => Korwa
Korwa = Kodaku
Kodaku => Kodagu

Korava => Kodava => Kodaga => Kodagu => Coorg

The word "Kodaga," "Kodagaru" or sometimes even "Kodagas" in the caste column is considered inappropriate. This amounted to denigration of the Kodava community and was a denial of the right to self-expression.

Of the various tribes inhabiting Coorg, the Coorgs proper, or Kodagas, and the Yeravas, or Eravas, both special to the country, are the most numerous. The Kodagas are a light-coloured race of unknown origin. The men are by tradition warriors and hunters, and while they will plough the fields and reap the rice,theyleave all menial work to the women and servants.

The Kodavas and Kodagas are known as Mlechchas, which implies that they were foreign and anti-Brahman. one is tempted to see a possible connexion with the founder of the Santara kingdom at Pomburchha or Humcha in the Shimoga District of Mysore, who claimed to be of the Ugra stock, and to have come from the Northern Muttra. Kodavas do not engage brahmins in their rituals. The Koravas and Erukalas were also anti-Brahmans as was the case of Kalabhras.

Examples of early Sanskrit-Kannada bilingual copper plate inscriptions (tamarashaasana) are the Tumbula inscriptions of the Western Ganga Dynasty dated 444 CE. In Bilingual inscriptions the formulaic passages stating origin myths, genelogies, titles of Kings and benedictions tended to be in Sanskrit, while the actual terms of the grant such as information on the land or village granted, its boundaries, participation of local authorities, rights and obligations of the grantee, taxes and dues and other local concerns were in the local language. The two languages of many such inscriptions were Sanskrit and the regional language such as Tamil or Kannada (Thapar 2003, pp393-394). The Western Gangas inclination to the use of Sanskrit in their inscriptions clearly reveals that they were from North Indian origin, who mixed well with Aryans. They could be a section of Indo-Aryans who migrated to South India in quest of water sources after the great river Saraswati was dried up due to gelogical disturbances. They were most probably koli related solar clans.

The Korava Erukalas are SUN worshippers. The Kodavas are also SUN worshippers. All their sacred ceremonies are performed before a sacred lamp with the sprinkling of rice. The Kodagu country was alsy known Matsya Desha indicating it a country of Ganga / Kolis who were alsu SUN worshippers.

The Kodavas are the only community in India who are exempt from the Indian Arms Act. Their adikathi, a long, broad-bladed, slightly-bent sword, which is nearly thrice the size of a Gorkha khukri, is intended for use in hand-to-hand fighting on the battlefield. Peechekathi, an ornamental knife placed in a jewelled sheath, forms part of the men's ceremonial dress.

The Kodavas, both men and women, are very good at shots and also good at sports. They belong to the martial race. Several world renowned military commanders have hailed from Kodagu. The Coorg Artillery Regiment proved its valour during the 1965 Indo Pak War. Many Kodavas are also good artists and administrators. Some of them have reached great heights.

The Kodavas are devotees of the river-goddess Kaveri. Ganga is considered to be the sister of Kaveri. The Kodavas are Hindus, but not of an orthodox type. They believe in free worship. The karona, or the ancestor of each family, is worshipped by its members. Although the rajas were Hindu, their commemorative monuments are Muslim in style; Kodagas both bury and cremate their dead. Although the rajas were Hindu, their commemorative monuments are Muslim in style; Kodagas both bury and cremate their dead.

Kodava women occupy a very high position in the community. From times immemorial, there has been no purdah system, no child marriage and no dowry system in the Kodava community. Widow remarriage is permitted. The women have the right of divorce, but it is generally not exercised. The percentage of literacy among both girls and boys is very high.

The Kodavas have their own special festivals � Huthri, the harvest festival, Kaveri Sankramana or the celebration of the birth of the Kaveri and Kailmurtha or the worshipping of weapons. Mudiraja warrior clans also worship the swaords of their ancestors during Ankamma Kolupu. The Kodavas are very good agriculturists and the best coffee growers in the country.

The bridegroom along with some elder and close members of his family called as korava karas leave in a group for the bride's house. One of the korava karas of the groom's party, designated for the ceremony, sits on the mat and breaks the coconut with the peeche kathi from his waist band and scoops out some coconut shavings, eats a piece himself and offers the other pieces, betel leaves and port akki to others. If the groom's designated korava kara succeeds in cutting each trunk with one stroke, the performance is applauded.

Korava => Kodava

The use of the term "Korava Kara" implies that the kodavas were either Koravas or related to koravas.

In the Tamil, the name Irula means "people of darkness." These tribes are known by different names like Eravallan, Erukala, Irava, Irular, Irular Mozhi, Iruliga, Iruligar, Korava, Yerukula and Kad Chensu. They are mainly concentrated in Chingleput at the Nilgiri foothills in Tamil Nadu. They are also found in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Their language, Irula, is related to Tamil and Kannada.

In 1703, Kodagas looted Shri Maha Maya Temple (Kuladevatha of family of Impersonators of holy Oracle - MANJESHWAR DEVDARSHAN - at Manjeshwar) in Mangalore.

Some believe that only the kodavars and other Indo-African tribes are the original inhabitants of TN. All others were migrants at one time or the another.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 12/05/2008
Nagpur, M.S, India

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These people are closely related to Kaikadi Erukalas who founded Kakatiya Kingdom. They are a variant of Bhils and they could be part of the Kalabhras who invaded South Indian dynasties.

Kalaveera => Kalabeera
Kalabeera => Kalabra => Kalabhra
Kalaveera => Karaveera => Karavar => Kuravar => Koravar

The "wandering tribes" of Madras Presidency were declared Criminal Tribes in 1913 undr the criminal tribes act (CTA) 1911. Yerukalas, Koravars, Korachas, Lambadis and Brinjaries who fell into this category were primarily grain and salt traders. For decades, they had been carrying salt from coastal districts to inland districts and bartering it for grain or forest produce.

In this path-breaking study, Meena Radhakrishna traces the history and implications of a piece of colonial legislation ? the Criminal Tribes Act. She examines the changing notions of crime and criminality over a period of time, and shows how traditional prejudice against gypsies combined with realpolitik on the one hand, and with science on the other, to feed into the category ?hereditary criminal?. Focussing on the itinerant trading community of Koravas in colonial Madras, Dr Radhakrishna studies in detail the process of its forced sedentarisation in a police and missionary-run settlement. Here the community was means to be reformed, albeit more through wage work than evangelism. The study shows how inspite of severe and repeated ruptures from its past, the community survived and has forged a strong contemporary trade union movement. The archival sources used in this study establish the community to have been an honourable and useful part of sedentary society in the past.

The koravas are commonly spoken of as a gipsy tribe, but in some parts of salem District they have organised a regular kaval system, similar to that of the kallans in Trichinopoly and Tanjore. They are commonest in Attur and Uttankarai and they are to be found in every taluk of the District. Their language is a medley of Tamil, Telugu and kanarese, the Tamil element usually preponderating, and they use their own peculiar thieves' slang. Difference in language is not, apparently, a bar to intermarriage. The exact relationship that their numerous sub-divisions bear to one another is by no means clear. Korava or Kuruva seems to closely related tribe to Kuruba. It is also believed that Kallars are a branch of the Kurumbas.

Korava => Kuruva = Kuruba = Kurumba

The best known sections are:(1) Dhabbai, (2) Uppu (3) Karuveppilai and (4) Kavalkaran koravas, all of which are probably true sub-castes. The Dhabhai koravas make baskets and other articles of bamboo and palm-leaves. The Uppu koravas, who are also known as Ghattada or Ettina koravas are itinerant traders in salt. It is doubtful whether the kunjam , Nari and punai-kutti koravas are distinct sub-castes, or whether any of these terms are synonymous with other sections. The pachai-kutti koravas enjoy almost a monopoly in the art of tattooing. The Ina koravas are pickpockets.

All koravas appear to recognise four Quasi-exogamous subdivisions, viz., (1) kavadi, (2) Menpadi, (3) Mendra-kutti and (4) Sattupadi. These names are said to be connected with worship; kavadis carry the kavadi so frequently associated with the worship of subramanya, who is the patron deity of the whole caste, Menpadis sing praises, and Mendra-kuttis offer shoes to the idol, while sattupadis adorn their god with flowers and jewels. The kavadis and sattupadis rank higher than the other sections, and are alone regarded as true koravas. Two other clans are reported, the uyyalu and the Bandi.

Koravars are having several divisions - Narikoravar, Dabi Koravars, Gandarvakottai Koravars, Inji Koravars, Koravars, Kalinji Dabikoravar, Kala Koravar, Monda Koravars, and so on..
,br> Kavalkara koravas are also called Morasu, Monda and kadukutti; but the significance of these terms is not clear. The Kavalkara koravas of the Talaghat are divided into three groups, which are endogamous, viz., (1) Mel-Nad, residing south of salem, (2) Attur-Nad, east of Attur, and (3) Salem-Nad, west of Attur and east of salem. Of these, the Salem-Nad, koravas claim superiority, and are said to employ Brahman purohits, and their customs apprximate more closely than those of the other Nads to the orthodox customs of Hinduism; they also abstain from eating squirrels, cats or tortoises, which are eaten by koravas of the other Nads. Korava panchayats in the Talaghat are presided over by a pattanam-chetti, a Balija by caste, who resides in Attur.

Their criminal methods are described on Vol II, p.94. The salutary custom of recovering, or giving compensation for, all property stolen in villages protected by the kaval is unfortunately dying out. When a burglary is commited, those who "keep cave" outside are entitled to onethird. It is said that two shares are also allotted to th headman, half shares to wives whose husbands are in jail, a fourth share each to old men, and to those who stay at home to guard the huts and personate those who have gone out to commit crime, and an eighth share to their swami. To evade indentification every korava has a bewildering string of aliases, bith for his own, and for his father's name.

Koravas bury their dead. Among the uppu koravas, if the deceased be unmarried, the body is wrapped in a yellow sheet and decked with flowers, and if maried in a white sheet, while the corpse of a widow is honoured with neither sheet nor flowers. As regards names for specific occupations among the Koravas, the Bidar or nomad Koravas originally carried merchandise in the form of salt, tamarinds, curry leaves from place to place on pack - bullocks or donkeys.

The koravars are still being called with different caste titles which are supposedly been given by the administration from the dark ages of colonial India.The consequence is, because of Dobba Koravar and Vetta Koravar caste names, the Koravar people are divided into small communities and became minorities with no real strength.

As regards Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities, Nomadism is taken as a way of life. Illustrations of shepherds in the higher elevations of Himalayas, moving in search of fresh pastures and to escape the rigours of climate, khanabadoshes (wandering tribes), Koravans. The most numerous of Khanabadoshes are Gadia Lohar, Gujjars, Kalbelia Jogis, Kanjars, Sansis etc.

Kuravas, one of the communities under the purview of the Criminal Tribes Act, continue to be treated as criminals and harassed by the State police even after the repeal of the Act following prolonged struggles by leaders of the national movement. These hapless people silently suffer this humiliation and many incidents of police torture involving them often go unnoticed by the media." Interestingly, "Kurava crimes" is part of the police training syllabus, says Shanmugam. In Tamil Nadu, Kuravas and other tribal communities bear the brunt of police prejudice. Unlike Kallars, another denotified community with a significant presence in the southern districts, who had benefited to some extent from the reformatory schools and advanced a little, Kuravas, numbering about 2.5 lakhs, remain backward, says Shanmugam.

There are about 28 sub-sects among them. They include Narikkuravas who move from place to place selling honey, herbal medicines and needles and others, whose occupations range from agricultural labour to conservancy work, from vending vegetables and curry leaves to government service, from fortune-telling to teaching.

According to Shanmugam, whenever a crime is reported the Kuravas in the area become the prime suspects of the police. The police take photographs and fingerprints of every Kurava suspect they confront. Almost every police station has a register of local Kuravas with their photographs and fingerprints.

People of Korava/Kurava community are called with different names in different parts of South India. They are called as Kuruvan or Kuruvar in Tamilnadu, Korama or Koracha in Karnataka, Kaikadi in Maharashtra, Siddanar in Kerala and Kattu Naicker in Pondicherry. In essence, all these communities form a great big community from south india. Prior to the British colonial rule, all these communities were part of that great big community since there were no real boundaries in India at that time. People from these communities used to roam around freely for their trading purposes. The splitting of this great community into numerous small communities is attributed to the Indian Caste System and the subsequent exploitation of this monster in a exponential way by the British Divide and Rule Policy.

Kathira or Kathiravandu, Scissors People - This is purely a Nellore name for this class of professional thieves (pick-pockets). The appellation seems to have been given to them from the fact that they frequent fares and festivals, and busy railway platforms, offering knives and scissors for sale. And, when an opportunity presents itself, these are used to cut strings of beads, rip open bags, etc. Several of these lights�fingered gentry have been found with small scissors in their mouths. Most of them wear shoes of a peculiar shape, and these form a convenient receptacle for the scissors. Bits of broken glass are frequently found in their mouths.

In Telugu language, Katthira means Scissor and Kathiravandu seems to be experts in emptying the pockets of people by using Scissors.

Katthira = Scissor
vaandru => Vaaru => Vaandu = those people
Katthira + Vaandru = Katthiravaandru
Katthiravaandru => Kathiravaandru => Kathiravandu
Kathiravandu = Experts in using Scissors

In different districts they are known by different appellations, such as Gudu Dasaris, and Donga Dasaris in North Arcot and parts of Cuddapah; Golla Woddars, Donga Woddars, and Musheri Kalas in Cuddapah, Bellary, and Kurnool; Pachupus in Krishna and Godavari; Alagiris, Ena or Thogamalai Koravas in the Southern Districts. Individuals belonging to this class of thieves have been traced, since the opening of the East Coast Railway, as far as Midnapore. An important way of identifying them is the fact that every one of them, male and female, is branded at the corners of the eyebrows and between the eyes in childhood, as a safeguard against convulsions.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 14/05/2008
Nagpur, M.S, India

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Berads, Bedars, Bedas, or Beds are principally found in Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwar, and Southern Maratha Country and also in all districts and States in Deccan and Konkan. In Belgaum district, they are found mostly in Pachhapur about twenty miles North of Belgaum and in the surrounding villages. They are also found near Sutgati on the Belgaum - Poona road in the hills bordring the Ghatprabha. In Bijapur they are found over the whole district, but are especially common in Badami in South. They are found in all parts of Dharwar district.

The term Bed ( Beda = Bedaru = Bedara ) seems to mean hunter, from Bete, hunting. The Marathas know the tribe as Berads and the Musalmanas as Bedars. The members of the tribe themselves prefer to be called Naikmakkalu, which means chief's children.They are also often called Naikwadis, presumably because they hold the office of Naikwadis ( village police in many villages.

Another synonym is Talwar, which means a village watchman, many of the tribe being hereditary village watchmen. They also call themselves valmikas after the author of the Ramayan, whom they claim as a caste fellow. They also some times call themselves as Ramoshis, which suggests some connection with the great Deccan tribe of that name Ramoshi. It seems probable, indeed, that the Ramoshis and Berads have a common origin and have become separate by the barriers of residence and language. The connection must have been close when a dravidian tongue was spoken in the Deccan. They follow the similar occupations, they both style themselves Naiks and Valmikas and a common division of Halge is found in both.

The tribe is also largely represented in Madras, Mysore and Hyderabad. Some have penetrated as far North as Berar (Nagpur region). The Telugu Boyas and Tamil Vedans appear, like the Ramoshis, to be allied to this tribe. The Boyas are hunters by profession. They call themselves Valmikas and Dorabiddas ( Children of chiefs ) like the berads and say they are descended from the sage Valmikiand from the poligars.

The vedans in Madras are a Tamil speaking, hunting and a labouring caste, the members of which were formerly soldiers and subsequently forced by British to become dacoits. They claim descent from Kannayya Nayanar ( Bhakta Kannappa ) like the Bombay Berads who consider Kannayya to be the founder of their tribe. According to tradition current among the berads of Bombay this Kannayya was a fowler and hunter, a devoute worshipper of Shiva. Kannappa Nayanar was a Telugu Vetar from Srikalahasti region near Tirupati. In Telugu language, Veta means hunting.

Veta => Vetar => Betar => Bedar = Berad
Bedar => Bedara => Bedaru => Beda => Bed
Veta => Vetan => Vedan => Bedan =Beda => Bed
Veta => Vettuva

According Buchanan the Kadambas of Banavasi were Bedars. He notices that in East Mysore the Bedars were strongly Telugu and that near Verul on the crest of Eastern Ghats the Telugu language was called Bedari. He notices that in South Kanara the Bedars were a savage race who are cats, and with great propriety and were called murders ( hired killers ). History relates that after the fall of Vijayanagar empire the bedars plundered the town for many days. Rayadurg was originally a stronghold of 'Bedars' ('Boya Palegars') who were very turbulent during the Vijayanagar rule.

Wilks makes the Boyas and Bedars the same. He describes them as wonderafully enduring and by their admirable staunchness to their chief's winning the admiration of Hyder Ali, who turned them into musalmans and formed batalloins of the Bedar Boyas or Chelas. Mr. Rice calls them Bedars or Nayakas and also Kiratakas, Barkas and Kannaiyas. Some are Karnatas and others Telingas. Most Mysore poligars or petty chiefs were Bedars. Medows Taylor, in the "Story of My Life", the Bedars as ruling tribe in State of Sholapur in the Nizams territory.

Under the Peshwas the village of Chikkadine, about twelve miles North of Belgaum, was the center of a small Berade State. At the time of the British conquest of the country in 1817 they had a strong organization under a Naik chief. In the early ears of British rule they caused some trouble, but were reduced to order 1820. They were still very unwilling to settle to regular work, and preferred to sub-let their land even at a small rent rather than be put to the troble of farming it. In 1829 there was a great Bedar outbreak under a famous leader named Rayappa of Sangoli, who was Kuruba by caste.

The Berads are an aboriginal tribe of the Kanarase districts. Although they have adopted many customs and usages from castes of a different social standing, the fact that a large number of them still feed on beef is evidence of their primitive origin. Their dark complexion, flat noses and frizzeled hair are also proof of their Non Aryan origin.

Brave Bedars fighting with Mughals at Wagengera : The Wagengera fort is situated on top of two hillocks and surrounded by rocky patches. The Bedar kings shifted here after losing their fort at Sagar, now in Shahpur taluk, to the Mughals in 1667. From the day they shifted to Wagengera fort, the Bedars were a thorn in the flesh of the Mughals. Although a well-trained army like the Mughals could have breached the fort easily, it was the warring skills of the Bedars that kept the enemy at bay for a long time.

They say that the true Bedars belong to a caste called in Kannada, Bearadu; it was largely represented in the erstwhile Sholapur State, the Raja of which belonged to it; it was on the same level as the Maratha Kunbi caste. Colonel Meadows Taylor was in charge of Sholapur during the minority of the Raja; he gave the Bedars a character for bravery and chivalry, it also for lawlessness.

The Ramoshis known alternatively as Berads, Boyas or Vedans are today spread across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Today's Ramoshi was called Boya, Berad and Vedan. In Andhra it was called Boya and in Karnataka and Tamilnadu it was called Berad and Bedar. Ramoshis of Maharashtra have come from mostly Karnataka and their surnames are same as Berad-Ramoshi of Karnataka. Their original language is sothern. They first got settled in Karnataka and later migrated to Maharashtra. Word 'Bhuyal' in Berad's language seems to have originated from Boya. though it is known in Maharashtra as Ramoshi-Berad, the name 'Ramoshi' is not older than 100-200 years. These Bedars are same as the people of Kappappa kula ( Vetars ) and as subsect of Tamil Muthuraja. Bedara Kannappa or Bhakta Kannappa of Srikalahasti was a great saint belonging to this caste br>
Vetars = Vedars = Bedars = Valmikis = Muddurajas = Mudhirajas = Muthurajas

Ramoshis truly belong to the Solar lineage of Srirama and thety are Sun & Goddess worshippers. Hence one of the meaning of Ramoshi could be taken as Rama Vamshis. Since these Ramoshis are non other than the descendants of Bhil vanaras, the other meaning of Ramoshi could be t"the people controlled by Sri Ram". A sect of kolis are also known as Ramoshi Kolis. This gives us a clear clue that Bedars and kolis are from one dravidian bhil races.

Rama => Ramo => Ram
Vamshi = Lineage
Vashi = Controlled by
Ramoshi = Rama vamsi = from the lineage of Sri Rama
Ramoshi = Rama vasi = Controlled by Sri Rama

On the principle of "setting a thief to catch a thief", Ramoshis in particular were widely hired as guards. Today, they are better known as watchmen rather than as criminals. The stigma itself has stimulated a curious inversion of prejudice. Ramoshi prowess at this profession brought about an intriguing page in their history. The Bombay Presidency Gazette of 1885 tells the story: The Ramoshis ... on many occasions exerted themselves greatly in Shivaji's service ... Shivaji, who was anxious to get possession of Purandhar, sent a detachment from Sinhagad accompanied by a party of Ramoshis to surprise the Mussalman garrison and capture the fort. ... "A Ramoshi ... ascended the wall and attached to the top of the rope ladders they carried with them. But as the Ramoshis were ascending the wall, the sentry in the vicinity descried them and cut the ropes, and the escalading party were all precipitated to the bottom, some being killed and the rest desperately wounded".

"Ours is a journey from first-class warriors to criminals, courtesy the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871," says Lakshaman Chavan, a teacher in Vasgade village. "Did you know that almost every fort of Shivaji had a settlement of Berad-Ramoshi warriors at its foothills? And that 50 Ramoshis captured Fort Purandhar near Pune defeating the Mughals?"

The village servants useful to Government are the Mahars and the Ramosh's (Ramosis). They are remunerated by watans, which take the form of grants of land either entirely free of assessment or subject to an annual reduced assessment (called mamul judi) or cash payment from the Government treasury, or both. Ramosis watch the movements of criminals and help the village patil in the discharge of his duties connected with the police administration. The Ramosis are not usually reckoned here among the notorious criminal. The Ramosis of the Deccan, have a long history of fighting and lawlessness. The Ramosis were a professional caste of village policemen. Ramosis are a variants of Bedars.

Sunita Tanaji Naik always had a tough time telling Berad-Ramoshi children stories about their community. The teacher at a balwadi in a hamlet in Sangli district of Maharashtra could at best recount that a certain Bahirji Naik from the community served as Chhatrapati Shivaji's intelligence chief. And someone called Umaji Naik led an uprising against the British in the first half of the 1800s in Pune district. History did not record their brave deeds; instead it made them history sheeters: the British declared the Berad-Ramoshis a criminal tribe.

Chatrapati Shivaji his sons Sambhaji, Rajaram & his daughter in law used forefathers of gardi community to carry out espionage for raids on Surat, Burhanpur, Jalna, ujjain, pune .Notables among them were Bahirji Naik who carried out espionage for Shivaji & commanded a force of 3000 men from gardi communities like Ramoshis, Dhangars, Bhils, Lamans, Vanzara, Pardhi, Mahadeo Koli, Masan Jogis. Dhangars, Ramoshis, Bhils, Lamans, Vanzara, Pardhi, Mahadeo Koli, Masan Jogis,& others got themselves trained in using guns-muskets while owning it.

The Okha Vaghelas revolted too, and the rare naval battles against the British are here. Then there is the Bhil-Koli uprising in the Nashik belt. Ratnagiri and Aurangabad areas are affected. Areas in north Karnataka, like Raichur and Bijapur had the Ramoshis, later dubbed 'criminal' castes by the British, in revolt.

The organisation of Ramoshis under hereditory naiks, who would dominate the selection of rakvaldars over anything from three to twenty villages, facilitated planned gang-robberies and made Ramoshis significant in the politics of the Peswa and the major jagirdars. Ramoshi naiks often gained considerable power and status as a reward of military services performed before the Raja of Satara.

In Maharashtra - Ramoshi did not originate from 'Ram vamshi'. It is in use only for hundred to hundred and fifty years. Before that, they were called Berad or Bedar, as mentioned during rule of Peshavas. Narveer Umaji Naik, in a letter of 1828, mentions as Ranvasi addressed to Ramoshis. Those days they were staying in hills and doing the job of protection of villages and crops in fields.

In Andhra Pradesh -- Boya, Dorabiddu and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Dorabiddu means sons of sardars. Boya consider themselves as sons of sardars and descendents of Valmiki.

In Tamilnadu -- Name in vogue is 'Vedan'. These people seems to be the same as that of the the people of Kannappa kula. Bhakta Kannappa belonged to Srikalahasti region of Andhra Pradesh. In Telugu language, Veta means Hunt.

Veta = Hunt
Vetar => Vetan => Vedan => Vetar
Vetar => Bedar => Berad

In Karnataka -- Names Berad and Bedar are in vogue. Bedar was word used by Muslims either to show the dauntless quality or may be inability to pronounce properly. Muslim books use word Bedar.

The names are Berad, Bedar, Nayak, Talwar, Nayavadi, Naykar, Valmiki, Palegar etc. each having distinctive meaning.

Berads : The regions east of the River Ganga and south of the River Krishna are marked by excessive humidity and thick growth of forests�they lack the vast open grasslands that sustained horse-breeding in the medieval era. The inhabitants of these lands�whether Telegus, Berads, or Purbias�did impact the evolution of infantry warfare; but only as willing recruits to battalions organized and led by European officers.

From Mysore north through the Malnad region and all the way to Bijapur were lands colonized by the Berads�a race of aboriginal Kanarese belonging to the lowest Dhed caste on account of their life style. Although many of them were Lingayets or Vaishnavs they had no dietary restrictions and ate mutton, beef, pork, and fowl with gusto and drank to excess. Their race name means "hunter" in Kanarese and they also indulged in cattle-lifting and other crimes. Alternatively called Bedars/Beydurs these people were dark, muscular, and of middle height; with round faces, thin lips, and frizzled hair. A popular story ran that the Mughal historians were so impressed by their fighting qualities that they changed the name Berad to Be-dar, meaning fearless.

It is these fighting qualities that are of importance to our study. For the purpose of hunting and war the Berads had adopted the matchlock and had become adept in the use of this firearm . Their tribal organization�where headmen controlled different bands of younger fighters�ensured discipline and unity in their ranks. Not surprisingly they had become the steadiest and most accurate musketeers in 17th century South India. Another singular name used for them was kala-piadas or black foot-musketeers. Later on these same Berads formed the bulk of Tipu Sultan's French-led infantry. We are not concerned here with the history of the entire tribe; our focus is on their one large kingdom based in Sagar. The Berad King of Sagar used the title Nayak and is known in Persian histories as Pam Nayak.

Berads of Karnataka worship Mallikarjuna, Mauti, Vekatesh as main deities and also worship Yellamma. Boyas worship Tirupati Venkat Ramana, Mariamma, Kanathrathan etc. Most of Berads are Shaivaites. They worship Shiva and engage Jangam or Lingayat Swami for religious functions. Marriages between Uru Boyas and Uru Berads and Myasa Bedars are allowed.

History : There is no written history about Bedars. The original man was Guh. According to Rajguru of Shorapur princely state, Berads come from Tamilnadu migrating to Karnatake during Vijaynagar rule. Names of 14 ancestors are known to him but not whereabouts. The last was 'goshti pid nayaka', a contemporary of Shivaji Maharaj. This means the history dates back to 800 years from Shivaji's known date of 1630. During Vijaynagar rule, these Nayak kings were assigned duty of protecting province of Tungabhadra. After of fall of Vijaynagar, the kings of Shorpur became independant. They only came under Bijapur court for name sake. But the Bijapur court was always afraid of Berad Nayak Kings.

Dr. Ambedkar had condemned the Brahminic culture for creating three groups of people, SCs STs and Criminal tribes. We know a great deal about SCs and something about STs. Here is some information of Criminal Tribes. In 1871 the British Government declared some tribes as "Criminal". The established society did ot oppose this, contrararily they seem to have liked it. Some clauses were:

(1) Permission should be obtained from police while shifting from one location to other.
(2). Govt. could send the group of people outside the bounds of a certain area and
(3). Govt. got the right to form a 'settlement' and keep the groups of people there.

Communities such as pardhis, kheria-sabars or the vadaris, bhils, bedars, kalkadis, kanjars, manga- rudis, nir shikaris or tadvis of Maharashtra and similar hundreds of communities all over India, were labelled 'criminal tribes' by the British penal system. Then, a member of any of these communities could be ramdomly picked up, tortured, maimed or even killed.

Instead of celebrating the militant and heroic heritage of those designated 'criminal tribes' by the British rulers, independent India continues to ill-treat them. With cruel irony constant harassment in fact drives some of them to crime.

Struggle against the British Inumerable Berads sacrificed their lives in uprisings against the British. History knows very few names. The important are:

One of the most interesting stories in the book concerns the disarming of the Berads of Halgali, near Mudhol in Karnataka, in November 1857. During the first war of Independence, the British made it mandatory for people to surrender their arms. Lt-Col. G.B. Settunkar was entrusted with the task of implementing the order in south Maharashtra and north Karnataka. The Berads from Halgali village in Mudhol refused to surrender their arms. Settunkar and his colleagues marched to Halgali. For almost two days the entire village fought along with the Berads and stopped the army from entering the village. As a last resort, the army set ablaze the village by throwing in fireballs but the Berads did not give up. In the end, 19 of them were captured by the British and killed.

The war between the Mughal Empire and the southern kingdoms thus became a war between the Mughal army and the Maratha resistance, who were allied with the indigenous people of southern and central India. The Polygars and Nayaks of the south, the Berads of the Krishna valley, and the Gonds in the northern Deccan, all played a part in the Mughal defeat. These Berads would be hired for a season's campaign by different Maratha chieftains and would then retire to their densely forested homes---they would not make sustained marches far away from their base. The alliance with Berads, Nayaks and Gonds in the south became an alliance with Rajput and Afghan landlords, and with Bhil and Koli tribesmen, in the north.

The Berads eventually joined the French-led battalions of the Kingdom of Mysore, but only because that kingdom also covered their own domains. Under the British they were eventually classed as a lawless criminal tribe.

Santaji Ghorpade, who lead 25,000 strong cavalry along with network of spies spread over deccan part of peninsular India, made a career of boldly raiding Mughal military camps & cities between Krishna & Cavery. Santaji's cavalry units comprised of Marathas, Bhils, Telangis, Berads who were skilled at firing muskets from matchlocks while riding on horses galloping at speeds up to 60 km/hour. Santaji Ghorpade's son Yeshoji & Tukoji continued his militaey activities by shifting their base to Sandur near Bellary & Guti in Karnataka. With help of Telangi-Berads, they sided with Tarabai faction of Kolhapur during civil wars fought between Shahu & Tarabai.

A book was aimed to publish about Ramoshis. It contains in simple language, the exploits of heroes like Veer Sindhur Laxman, the Berad Naiks who distinguished themselves in the siege of Wakinkheda, a fort where the family entourage and the gold of the Marathas was kept, Venkatappa Nayak from Shurpur, Karnataka who arraigned the Southern kings against the British in 1857 and the role played by Ramoshis in the 1942 agitation. The stories sourced from the Ramoshis have been attributed to them and compiled by Niranjan Kulkarni. While many of the Ramoshi community are aware of their immediate past, one where they were branded as criminal by the British through the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, and of heroes like Umaji Naik, not so well known is the struggle of other heroes who valiantly fought against their oppressors,'' says Dandekar, secretary, Lok Parishad.

Belgaon Bedara
Belgaum and Dharwar in the new State of Mysore, there is a caste by name 'Bedar or Berad' and that sub-sections of that caste are also called 'Talwars' 'Valmikis' 'Nayaka-Makkalu' and 'Navakwadis etc and that there is no caste as 'Navaka' caste who are also known as 'Bedars'.

Berads, Bedars or Beds are found chiefly in the Belgaum. Dharwar and Bijapur Districts. The term Bed (Kan. Bedaru) seems to mean hunters from Beta (hunting). The members of the tribe call themselves Naikamakkalu, that is, chief's children. They are also known as Naikwadis. Talwars and valmikas. "the first and last of which are applied to the Ramoshis also. This and the fact that the Berads and Ramoshis follow similar occupations and have a common division named Halge, seem to show that they had a common origin but became separated by the barriers of residence and language. The connection seems to have been close when a Dravidian tongue was spoken in the Deccan. The Berads also appear to he closely allied to the Telugu Boyas and the Tamil Vedans. All these tribes except the Ramoshis claim desent from Kannaya / Bhakta Kannappa. The people of Kannappakula are a subcaste of Muthuraja in Tamilnadu today.

According to Buchnan the Kadambas of Banawasi were Berads. History relates that after the fall of Vijayanagar the Berads plundered the town for many days. Their staunch loyalty to their chiefs won the admiration of Hyder Ali, who converted them to Islam and formed battalions of the Bedar Boyas or Chelas Medows Taylor, in the Story of my Life, describes the Berads as the ruling tribe in the State of Shorapur in the "Nizam's Territory. In the early years of British R. the Berads caused some trouble, but were reduced to order in 1820. They are still notorious as thieves and highway robbers. Some are husbandmen, some village-watchmen or Talwars holding free grants of land, some are Patiis some are labourers, and a few are hunters and snarers.

They have six endogamous divisions (1) proper, (2) Durgarmurgi, (3) Halge. (4) Jas or Myasa, (5) Naikmakkalu and (6) Ramoshi none of which cat together or intermarry. They have several exogamous divisions known as Bedagus, many of which are found among the Berads of Mysore, thus showing their identity.

Marriage with a sister's and mother's brother's daughter is allowed. A man may marry his wife's sister. Marriage is generally infant Girls are at times kept unmarried and dedicated to Maruti or Yallamma. They are railed Basavis or Jogatis and lead immoral lives. The boy's parents have to pay a bride-price of Rs. 100 to the girl's parents. The essential "portion of the marriage consists in throwing grains of rice over the heads of the bride and bridegroom. The marriage of widow is permitted. Divorce is allowed.

Except in Bijapur. Berads eat the flesh of cows, buffaloes and pigs. They drink liquor to excess. The highest well known caste who will eat, drink or smoke with Berads is the Korava Musalmans do not eat out of the hands of Berads. But Berads have no objection accepting food from Musalmans. Members of higher castes, such as Kurubs. Kabbaliggars, Vakkals etc., are admitted into the tribe The favourite deities of Berads are Durgavva. Mallikarjuna Maruti. Yallamma and Khandoba. Their priests are Bhrahmans. In some places Lingayet Mathapatis are employed to conduct the death ceremonies.

The dead are either burnt or buried. For the propitiation of deceased ancestors tribesmen are feasted on the new moon of either BHADRAPAD. ASHVIN or FALGUN. The Berads of the Sholapur district settle their social disputes at meetings of the village castemen with the most influential member as the headman who is called RAJA Sometimes castemen from several villages assemble, such an assembly being called DAIVA. The penalties imposed on offenders are caste dinners and fines. About two years ago a Berad of Bhal vani in the Phandharpur Taluka was excommunicated for eating beef and was re-admitted on payment of a fine of Rs. 50. The social disputes of the Berads of the Bijapur districts are settled by their GURUS, of whom there are several. An appeal lies from the decision of a GURU to the head GURU who lives at Hardi, a hill village in Hungund Taluka.

In Akola - They say that the true Bedars belong to a caste called in Kanarese Bearadu; it is largely represented in Sholapur State, the Raja, of which belongs to it; it is on the same level as the Maratha Kunbi caste. Colonel Meadows Taylor was in charge of Sholapur during the minority of the Raja; he gives the Bedars a character for bravery and chivalry, if also for lawlessness. It is said that the ancestors of the present Maratha Bedars entered military service and presently joined the Pindhari bands; they were given their name because they were ' without fear.' Tipu Sultan converted some to Muhammadanism, and others consented to eat in small parties out of one dish in order to divert his suspicions. Under early English rule they were afraid to give a true account of themselves lest they should be punished for sharing in the Pindhari raids. Most Bedars worship Devi and Mahadeo, but some are followers of Kabir, who preached religious equality. Bedars drink strong liquors and eat the flesh of fowls, goats, and the wild pig. Telanga and Kanarese Bedars are given a low place among Hindus and are mostly engaged as daily labourers. Some Bedars, however, are engaged in trade and agriculture, while others form a considerable fraction of the police force of the District.

Boyars and Bedars are one and the same people : The Bedars are identical with the Boyars of the Madras Presidency. The following the list of criminal tribes in Madras Presidency :

Boyar : A boyar, also spelled boya (meaning Hunter) is the name of a caste. A leader of a group or Head of Territory. Boya is called as Naidu. The Boyar community constitute the Non-orthodox Kshatriya or Warrior class of India. They are all believed to have originated from an ancient people called Kirata. Boyas or Bedars were none other than Vanaras of Kishkinta kingdom of Ramayana times in South India. These were the vanara warriors who were controlled by Sri Rama in the war against Demon Ravana of Srilanka to rescue Sita. Boya and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Boya consider themselves as descendents of 'Valmiki' a Sanskrit writer.The most famous Kiratas in Hinduism are the Kiratra avatar of Shiva, Lord Buddha and sage Valmiki, writer of the Ramayana.

Boya caste corresponds to Kiratas of Sanskrit writers, the Warriors, Hunters and Mountaineers. As the names indicate, they belonged to one of the hill tribes who subsisted by hunting and tending cattle. Gaikwads, Kurubas and Yadavas too originally belonged to this group. In Manu's Dharmashastra they are mentioned as Vratya (Non-Orthodox) Kshatriyas, which meant that they were considered to be advanced in civilization and warfare, but outside the ambit of Brahminical influence. It is speculated that the term is a Sanskritization of a Sino-Tibetan tribal name, like that of Kirant or Kiranti of eastern Nepal. Mythology gives an indication of their geographical position of Kirata kingdom near Nepal and Bhutan. In the Mahabharata, Bhima meets the Kiratas to the east of Videha, where his son Ghatotkacha is born; and in general the dwellers of the Himalayas, especially the eastern Himalayas, were called Kiratas. Ghatotkacha of Mahabharata fame (Son of Bhima) was a Kirata Chieftain.

The Boya warriors migrated from Indus valley after saraswathi river dried up and invaded several mountainous regions in south-eastern peninsula. The original population of Boyas was mixed with various linguistic groups. These Boya warriors served as military regiment and chiefs between 10th century to 15th century in Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala empires. In India Boyas were mainly found in South India as Hindu Telugu speaking community as non-orthodox Kshatriyas. Their population concentrated mainly in the Andhra-Orissa region and later in all southern states. Eastern Chalukyan empire's court was essentially a Republic of Badami, and the administrative subdivisions were known as 'Boya-Kottams'. Boya-kottams existed across southern states right from 5th century according to Kakatiya inscriptions. Boya-kottams held assignments of land or revenue in different villages. Chola-Chalukyas used titles 'Udayar' or 'Odeyar' for chieftains at certain periods of time which included Boya Chieftains.

King Pratapa Rudra's Kakatiya kingdom was ably served by seventy five chieftains called Nayaks. The Nayaks who belonged to various agrarian castes such as Boyar, Velama, Kamma, Reddy, Telaga, Balija, etc. were divided by mutual jealousy and rivalry but they are valiant cousins. Boyar Gudi at Aihole-Pattadakal (South East of the Village) was built in 14th Century for the Boyar community worship. Many more temples were constructed in Andhra-Orissa region by Boya Chieftains.

The Chitradurga Paleyagar family was of the Beda or Boya caste and belonged to one of the hill tribes family who subsisted by hunting. According to one tradition, it appears that three Boya families emigrated from Jadikal-durga, in the neighbourhood of Tirupati, and settled at Nirutadi near Bramhasagara about 1475. They are said to have belonged to the Kamageti family and Valmiki gotra. The son and the grand�son of one of these, named Hire Hanummappa Nayaka and Timmanna Nayaka respectively. There were many battles in the reign of this Nayaka between Chitradurga and Harapanahalli, Rayadurga and Bijapur in all of which the Nayaka had splendid success.

Boyas or Bedars were none other than Vanaras of Kishkinta kingdom of Ramayana in South India. They were the Vanara warriors who were controlled by Sri Rama in the war against Demon Ravana of Srilanka to rescue Sita. Boya and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Boya consider themselves as sons of sardars and descendents of Valmiki.

Boyars migrated from Indo-Iran around 5th century BCE to Indian sub-continent and later 9th century to Turkey and Romania. Having Dravidian roots came from indus valley invaded south region .Boyars are mainly found in South India as Hindu Telugu speaking community and non-orthodox kshatriyas. Boyars arrived to Andhra - Orissa region during Indo-Aryan migration around 5th century BCE.

Boyar warriors served as military regiment between 10th century to 15th century in Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala empires. The Musunuri Nayaks were Boyars and Kamma warrior chieftains in the Kakatiya army, who regained Andhra in 1326 from the Delhi Sultanate in the aftermath of the Kakatiya defeat. King Pratapa Rudra's Kakatiya kingdom was ably served by seventy five chieftains called Nayaks. The Nayaks who belonged to various agrarian castes such as Boyar, Velama, Kamma, Reddy, Telaga, Balija, etc. were divided by mutual jealousy and rivalry but they are valiant cousins.

Rayadurg and Kalyandurg are the two important forts which were ruled by Boya Palegars. The name Kalyandurg came from Kalyanappa, who was a Polygar in the 16th Century. Rayadurg was originally a stronghold of Boyar palegar who were very turbulent during the Vijayanagar rule. Kalyandurg was under the rule of Sri Krishnadevaraya and was a part of Vijayanagara Empire.

Boya Palaiyakkarar (Polygar) who was to administrate their Palaiyams (territories) from their Fortified centers. Their chief function was to collect taxes, maintain law and order, run the local judiciary, and maintain a battalion of troops for the Nayak.

Boya is considered as oldest caste and origin among many castes in India . Boyars are non-pure Kshatriyas they are called as ' Boya ' in Andhra Pradesh ' Boyar ' in Tamil nadu and in Karnataka as ' Bhovi '. Boya, Boyar, Boyi, Bhovi are the hereditary and clan title. Boyar caste consists many gotras. Boyas worship Tirupati Lord Venkat Ramana, Mariamman, Shiva, Subramanya, etc. A lost link between Boyars of India and Europe. There was a great migration in Indus valley in 5th BCE boyar warrior caste a Kshatriya community was split into many groups took different direction and invaded many regions. By and large there are more similarities in culture and origin . Temple inscription and Religious texts also denotes about boyar caste and origin. so we conclude that Boyars are distant cousins of East asia and Russia.

A lost link between Boyars of India and Europe. There was a great migration in Indus valley in 5th BCE boyar warrior caste a Kshatriya community was split into many groups took different direction and invaded many regions. By and large there are more similarities in culture and origin . Temple inscription and Religious texts also denotes about boyar caste and origin. so we conclude that Boyars are distant cousins of East asia and Russia.

Kokolu Ankarao
Date :
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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The Kaikadis were the Erukals who established Telugu Kakatiya Kingdom and ruled most parts of Telugu country. These Telugu warrior rulers also inspired its two royal treasurers or generals - Hakkaraya & Bukkaraya at a later date to establish the Vijyanagar Empire of great fame that opposed the entry of Musim invaders into South India. Erikal Mutthuraju, who ruled parts of Rayalaseema could be from this Kaikadi / Kakatiya Erukala tribe.

Kaikadi => Kaikari => Kaikati => Kakati => Kakatiya

The chief criminal tribes are the Kaikadis, Mhars, Mangs, Berads, Pardhis, Garudis, Kolhatis, Bhamtas, and Vadars, all of whom come from the South Deccan or Madras. They are basket-makers, cattle-dealers, day-labourers, and sometimes beggars. The Kaikadis and Kolhatis are well known gang robbers, the Bhamtas are noted pickpockets, and the Vadars are generally given to housebreaking. The resident tribes such as Mhars and Mangs are subjected to strict police supervision by their presence being required at a daily muster in each village and their not being allowed to leave it without a pass from the police patil. The other wandering tribes are watched in their movements while passing through the territory.

The Kunchi- walas (30 males, 31 females) are another branch of the Kaikadis, who live in jungles. Banjaras, Wadders, Pardhi, and Kaikadas are the only ex-criminal tribes found in the district. They are scattered all over the district and are found in every tahsil. Waddars and Kaikdis seems to be one and the same as there is one sect known as Vadar Kaikadis. These people seem to be closely related to Vaddera community of Andhra Pradesh.

Vadar Kaikadi => Vadar
Vadar => Vaddar => Vaddara => Vaddera

Ramoshi, Vadar Kaikadi and Berad are the so-called criminal tribal communities. The most common criminal castes of the Amravati District of Maharastra are the Pardhis, Kaikaris, Bhamtas, Mang Garodis and Takaris; though Banjaras, Ramosis and many other wanderers of doubtful reputation are also met with. These classes at least have a bad reputation, but in many cases their propensity to crime has decreased, if not vanished, and they have settled down to respectable callings.

Vedar => Vetar => Vetan
Vedar => Bedar => Berad

Bhakta Kannappa of Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh today belong to Vetar subsect under Tamil Muthuraja community. They were most probably the Telugu Mudiraj people who invaded Tamil country in the name of Kalaveerans ( Kalabeerans = Kalabhras ). The Bedars or Berads of Maharastra and Vetars of Tamilnadu are one and the same people. These people of Kannappa Kula ( Vetar ) migrated to Maharastra via Karnataka. The Kaikadis are either Vetars or a variant of Vetars of Tamilnadu. This could be one of the reason why their language is made of a mixure of Telugu - Tamil words. The Kaikadis in their origin were Gaikwadis and dravidians from Gujarat.

Yerukalas has a dialect of their own which is called 'Yerukula basha' or 'Kurru basha' or 'Kula vaatha'. It is derived from Dravidian languages, mostly Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. They use both the Yerukala dialect and Telugu. The Yerukala language has no written script and is still in existence in oral tradition. According to the 1991 census, there are 63,133 Yerukala language speakers. According to the 2001 census, there are 69,533 Yerukala language speakers. The language of Kaikadis is known as Kaikadi, a mixure of Telugu and Tamil. It contains some words from Marathi also. Tamil is a member of the Tamil language family, which includes the Irula, Kaikadi, Betta Kurumba, Sholaga, and Yerukula languages. This group is a subgroup of the Tamil-Malayalam languages, which falls under a subgroup of the Tamil-Kodagu languages, which in turn is a subgroup of the Tamil-Kannada languages. The Tamil-Kannada languages belong to the southern branch of the Dravidian language family.It is a dravidian language. Alternative names: Kokadi, Kaikai, Kaikadia.

Yerukala is a community found largely in the Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Yerukalas are indigenous people of South India. They call themselves 'Kurru'. They are called as 'Yerukula' after their women's traditional profession of fortune telling (eruka cheputa). People of this community are called with different names in different parts of South India. They are called as Kuruvan or Kuruvar in Tamilnadu, Korama or Koracha in Karnataka, Kaikadi in Maharashtra, Siddanar in Kerala and Kattu Naicker in Pondicherry. It is said that Veera Pandya Katta Bomman belonged to Kattu Naicker branch. His parents were migrants from Andhra to Tamilnadu and adapted by a Pandyan king to rule his kingdom. He belonged to Muthuraja community. In essence, all these communities form a great big community from south india. The gothras among all these communities is the same, i.e Kavadi, Sathupadi, Maanupadi and Mendraguthi. The earliest reference of Yerukalas can be found in the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. Yekalavya, the great archer from Mahabharata times, belongs to Yerukala community.Many historians have stated that they found references on some pillars stating that the Kakatiyas were originated from the nomadic tribe called Erukala.

Prior to the British colonial rule, all these communities were part of that great big community since there were no real boundaries in India at that time. People from these communities used to roam around freely for their trading purposes. The splitting of this great community into numerous small communities is attributed to the Indian Caste System and the subsequenct maximum utlization of Indian Caste System evils by the British Divide and Rule Policy. The Indian Independence and the subsequent formation of states based on languages like Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam has split this community permanently. The languages - Erukala and Kaikadi are close to Tamil, Badaga is close to. Kannada and, Savara is a Dravidian language closely related to Telugu. The people from this community in each state got their own identity and lost the relations with their brethren in other states.

The de-notified tribes (DNTs) across the country � charas and daffers in gujarat, parghis and kaikadis in maharastra and sabars in west bengal � have been fighting to erase this social stigma. Kaikadis are nomadic tribes, who reside in the states of Maharashtra and arnataka. They speak a language known as Kaikadi, which is a member of the Dravidian language family. Agriculture is the main occupation of this tribe, with about seventy percent of the population involved in it. They also engage in the raising of livestock, particularly horned cattle, buffalo, horses and mules. They practice some type of ethnic religion. Usually, they worship Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti. Many of the tribe members are also involved in ancestor worship. They are commonly categorized as Tamil.

The chief criminal tribes of Central proviences are the Kaikadis, Mangs, Pardhis, Garudis, Kolhatis, Bhamtas, and Vadars, , all of whom come from the south Deccan and Madras. They are basketmakers, cattle-dealers, day labourers, and sometimes beggars. The Kaikadis and Kolhatis are well known gang robbers, the Bhamtas are noted pick-pockets, and the Vadars are generally given to housebreaking. Budaks, expert housebreakers from northern India, have lately appeared in Khandesh. In some places Bhamtas are also known as Kaikadis and this means that the Kaikadis are related to Pardhis and Takaris (Bhamtas. Kaikadis are either a branch of Gaikwads or a variants of Gaikwads.

Gai = Cow
Kaaval => Kaval = protecter or Handler
Gai + kaaval => Gaikaval = Cow Protector or Animal Handler
Gaikwal => Gaikwad => Gaikwadi
Gaikwadi => Gaikadi => Kaikadi
Kaikadi => Kaikari => Kaikati = Kakati => Kakatiya

It is probable that the kaikadis of Central Proviences are identical with Koravas, who have migrated thither. Kut Kaikadi or Pathur Korwah earn their livelyhood by purchasing girls and prostituting them. They live in towns and are reoported to kidnap and sell children. Kothi kaikadis are monkey showers. In Telugu Kothi means monkey. Kaikadis are divided into two exogamous groups - (i) Jadhav ( Jadon ) and (ii) Gaikwad ( Gaikwar ) who must marry with each other. Some people think that these names are borrowed from the Maratha Kumbis to suite the community among who the Kaikadi dwelt. But the fact is that the name Kaikadi was the result of gradual modification of the name Gaikwadi as explained above.

Kothi = Monkey

The Kaikadi are also referred to as Gadhwe Sonar as some of them rear donkeys for carrying gravel bricks, and pigs for scavenging. The Kaikadi, are once vagrant people, now live a settled life and distributed in Vidarbha region of Maharastra. Some of them still move from one place to another. Enthoven believes that the Kaikadis were migrants from Telangana. The fact is that the Kaikadis were the the Kakatiyas of Warangal who established one of the greatest Telugu kingdoms, which united and ruled most part of the Telugu speaking lands in South India. Pratapa Rudra Deva and Rani Rudrama Devi were very prominent rulers of Kakatiya dynasty.

Marriage with the clans is prohibited. A kaikadi can not marry his mother's sister's daughter but he can marry his father's sister's daughter. A kaikadi many not marry his wife's elder sister while his wife is alive or dead but he can marry his wife's younger sister. A Kaikadi many not go very far seeking a bridegroom. The Kaikadi family is headed by the seniormost male member. The Kaikadi women enjoy equal previllages with men.

The Kaikadis are divided into twelve tribes, of which, the following four are addicted to dacoity, highway robbery and burglary : 1 Gadjpati or forest Kaikddi ; 2 Parbathgiri or hill Kaikadi ; 3 Konkani ; and 4 Dakhanl The last is the most daring of all, but every gang of dacoits is composed moro or less, of members from all these tribes. Kaikadi dacoits live in temporary huts during the rainy season, and commence operations after Dassara and Dcvali, breaking up in small parties of from four to fifteen, but keeping within a few miles of each other, and acting under the orders of a headman or nailc. Information of property, &c., is given by their wives and children, who enter houses to repair chakia or grindstones. The Kaikadis are the great robbers of the south, just as the Bowris are of the north of India ; and follow dacoity, &c., as a profession. They are very expert at stealing fowls.

The criminalization of certain tribes, for example, provided a means of controlling turbulent populations in the more inaccessible or 'lawless' parts of the subcontinent. According to these laws (most infamously the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871) , tribes such as the Maghyar Doms in Bihar, the Kunjurs or Khangars in Bundelkund and the Ramosi, Mang, Kaikari or Bowrie tribes in the Narmada valley were described as habitually criminal, and adult male members of such groups forced to report weekly to the local police.

Kaikadis or Yerukalas have been nomadic communities since the times unknown. They have been the target of the fears and suspicions of sedentary communities. The Yerukulas of Madras presidency were thus 'criminalized' in the early 20th century by the British Rulers. The Yerukulas were branded as criminals by birth under the "Criminal Tribes Act 1871", enacted by the British Rulers. Yerukalas were chiefly traders in grain and salt, operating between the coastal areas of the Madras presidency and the interior districts. It is the same case with other derived communities of these simple people.

Today, most of the Yerukalas are settled in the villages/towns and trying to make their way out of the poverty and the sub-human standard of living by getting education to obtain financial freedom which has been denied to them since ages. They are using reservations and other benefits from the government to a greater extent to obtain the freedom they used to have long time age. Even though they live in a free democratic country like India, they are still living under harsh social conditions because of the Indian caste system and face social discriminations time and again. Due to the wandering traditions over hundreds of years without any ostensible means of livelihood under the influence of the caste system, they are forced to live under sub human conditions. In spite of the repeal of the act in 1952, they are still treated as Criminals by birth and subjected to harassment and persecution at the hands of the police and the state machinery.

The traditional occupations of Yerukalas include basket-making, mat weaving, pig rearing, rope-making etc. The Yerukala women were specialized in sooth saying and fortune telling which they no longer practice. Some of them also participate in the economic activities like basket making, mat weaving etc, and make baskets with wild date leaves.

Kaikadis are found in towns and large villages. They are divided into Jadhavs and Manes, who eat together but do not intermarry. They speak Marathi with a mixture of other words. They were "hereditary thieves" and "robbers" but have now taken to other pursuits. They allow widow marriage, the widow during the ceremony being seated on a bullock's saddle. A caste-council or panch settles social disputes. Kaikadis Support themselves by basket making and stone cutting and as a class are orderly. The Kaikadis, once a wandering tribe, are now settled in villages. They have a number of endogamous divisions like the Kamathis (basket-makers), Makadvalas (wandering and exhibiting monkey's games), Kaijis (flute players) and others.

The Kaikadis are a small tribal group located mainly in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Their language (also called Kaikadi) is a member of the Dravidian language family. Kaikaris or kaikadis number 734, scattered all over the District Akola; some of them support themselves by taking contracts for road repair and for work on public buildings, but many are habitual thieves and the police find it hard to decide who are honest.

In Maharashtra, the 'Phanse Pardhis' are in- cluded in the STs but their counterparts, the Haran Shikaris or Gaon Pardhis are categorised under the VJNTs (Vimukta Jatis and Nomadic Tribes, as they are called in Maharashtra). Similarly, the Kaikadis in the Vidarbha region are grouped under the SCs but those from the rest of the state are under the VJNTs. The same Kaikadis are categorised as STs in Andhra Pradesh.

The scheduled tribes of the district Vanjaris, Bhils, Vadars and Kaikadis are met with mainly in Ambejogai, Kaij and Manjleganv tahsils. The Kaikadis, once a wandering tribe, are now settled in villages. They have a number of endogamous divisions like the Kamathis (basket-makers), Makadvalas (wandering and exhibiting monkey's games), Kaijis (flute players) and others. Besides, there are a number of groups among whom marriages are forbidden.

The Kaikadis follow the Hindu Law of Inheritance and profess Hindu religion. Among the Kaikadis,the consent of the first wife must have been obtained to the taking of a second. They worship Hindu gods, chief among them being Bhavani, Bahiroba, Tukai, Yamai, etc., and observe all of the leading Hindu holidays. They believe in witchcraft and soothsaying. They go on pilgrimage to Hindu sacred places in the State and take vows or offer animal sacrifices. They revere Hindu as well as Muslim saints. The Kaikadis either burn or bury their dead. An image or tak of the deceased is made and installed amongst the household gods. The basket weaving community of the kaikadis (Maharashta) did not use the palmyra palm as a raw material because it violated the jatidharma or the social duty enjoyed by the group.

Autobiographical narratives or essays constitute a significant segment of Dalit literature. They are "selfstories" ('Athmakatha') or "self-reporting" ('Athmavritta') Some notable writers in this group are: Daya Pawar, Laxman Mane, Shankarrao Kharat, Madhav Kondvilkar P.E. Sonkamble Laxman Gaikwad, Malika Amarshekh and Sharankumar Limbale. "Upra" (outsider) is an autobiographical story by Laxman Mane. Published in 1980, this book brought into sharp focus the day-to-day struggle of the Kaikadis (a nomadic tribe) Maharashtra's villages. Laxman Mane embraced Buddhism and he has initiated many people of various tribes like pardhis, kaikadis and Masanjogis into Buddhism.

A community of 150 households, characterized by social stratification and consisting mainly of castes such as Kaikadis' (a tribe from Marathwada- central and western Maharashtra) and Sahus' (from Madhya Pradesh), mainly laborers or daily wagers, secured plots near Somlawada, Nagpur through a builder (year 2001). The resettled community (year 2001) was devoid of any infrastructure facility, being in the peri-urban area of the city where the city corporation has not yet laid an underground drainage network.

Kaikadis or Kaikaris are also called Bargandis and it is known as a direputable wandering tribe, whose ostensible profession is to make bamboo baskets. They are found in Nimar, Maratha districts and Central Proviences. The Kaikaris here, as elsewhere, claim to have come from Telingana ( Telangana ) or Deccan, but there is no caste of this name in the Madras presidency. But the fact seems to be that these were the people who established the Kakatiya Dynasty and the people of this tribe are mostly known as Erukalas in Madras Presidency. They may not improbably be the caste there known as Korava or Yerukala, whose occupations are similar. Mr. Kitts has stated that the Kaikaris are known as Koravars in Arcot and Koravas in Carnatic. The Kaikaris speak a gypsy language, which according to specimen given by Hislop contains Tamil and Telug words. They could be originally a Telugu caste spread from Central proviences to Andhra and later moved to Tamil country in the name of Kalabhras. They were ferocious and dead against Brahminism.

One derivation of Kaikari is from Tamil, Kai, hand and kude, basket, and if this is correct it is in favour of their identitification with the Korvas, who always carry their tattooing and other implements in a basket in hand. The Kaikaris of the Central Proviences says that their original ancestor was one Kanoba Ramjan ( Kaanoba Ramjaan ) who handed over a twig to his sons and told them to earn their livelihood by it. Since then they have subsisted by making baskets from the stalks of the cotton plant, the leaves date-palm, and grass.

Kaikadis, Pardhis, Ambalagars and other related tribes Mudiraja are ancient hunters :
The various warrior tribes of Mudiraja are ancient hunters and hence they are known as Ancient Kings of India. Mudir means Great and also Ancient.

Mudi = Great
Mudi = Ancient
Mudirajas = Great Kings = Ancient Kings

Rs 12 crore earmarked from relocating 5,000 families belonging to notified hunting tribes, such as Behelias, Amabalgars, Badaks, Mongias, Bavariyas, Pardhi, Boyas, Kaikads, Nirshikaris, Picharis, Valayaras, Yenadis. These warrior communities of Mudiraja are considered as a great threat to tiger preservation in India. It could be true that they are having hidden genetic codes in their blood that drive them for hunting expeditions and it is not really the money which they get in return. They are mostly paid very small amounts. But hunting could perhaps greatly satisfy their inner unkworn hidden uges.

The Centre-sponsored Project Tiger Scheme has sent out a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to states as part of a new Five Year Plan that has allocated Rs 600 crore for the cause of the tiger. In keeping with the new-found urgency to preserve the dwindling numbers of tigers, the MoU has asked for all progress to be monitored through photo catalogues and videographing.

More than 70 per cent of the budgetary allocations have been done for facilitating rehabilitation of tribals and people living in the critical or core tiger habitats. Out of Rs 600 crore, Rs 345 crore has been allocated for deciding inviolate spaces for wildlife and relocation of villagers from reserves within a timeframe, which includes a revised pay package of Rs 10 lakh per family for relocation.

Kaikade Maharaj
Rastra Sant Tukdojii often used to visit Ashram of Khapti Maharaj.It is said, that Khapti Maharaj had cured his back ache problem. Both of them have attended meetings in Nagpur and other places. Kaikade Maharaj of Pandharpur met Khapti Maharaj in his ashram. Gadhge Maharaj's chief disciple was Kaikadi Maharaj.

what is the proof that Kalidas was at the Ramgiri near Ramtek and not at some other place bearing an identical name? This query can be answered with the help of the folklore of the area. Many a time, folk songs or folk tales give authentic clues to history enabling us to reconstruct the past. In the Nagpur-Ramtek region, the songs of a nomadic tribe called Kaikadi help us solve some ticklish questions regarding Kalidas's presence in the area. In one of the songs, the tribals sing of a man called Kali: "It is Rama's Ramtek where Kali talked to the clouds in such an overwhelming tone that even the hills started shedding tears." The reference here is to the rain. Further the song goes thus: "On Rama's Ramtek, Kali made ink of his tears, used eyes as the bottle for ink and wrote the tale of his agony for which the hills stand a witness."

Kali <=> Kalidas

The Indian Gypsies have several names, such as Banjara or Vanjara, Khanabadosh, Lok, Ghumantu, Tanda, etc. There are nomads who are traders. We can divide them into groups and sub-groups. In Maharastra alone there are 45-47 Gypsy groups. In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh etc. the names of groups are of semi-settled places or of Tandas (camps). In India some of these groups are : Bevad (Naikwadi, Talwar, Valmiki), Bestar (Sanchalu, Vadar), Bhamta (Bhamati, Girni, Kamati, Pathroot, Takari, Unchale), Kaikadi (Ghontale, Korawa, Makawale, Kiva, Kicho, Korwa, Paylot Korwi), Kanjar Bhat (Chhar, Kanjar, Bhat) Katambu, Banjara, (Gor Banjara, Lanibadi, Lambata, Lambhani, Charan Banjara, Laman Banjara, Laman Labhani, Laban, Dhadi, Dhadhia, Singari, Navi, Banjara, Jogi Banjra, Banjari), Vagalle (Pal, Pardhi), Raj Pardhi, (Bav Pardhi, Hiran Shikari), Rajput (Parsushi Bhamata), Bhamata, Ramoshi, Vadar (Godi Vadar, Jati Vadar, Mati Vadar, Patharvat), Vaghari (Salat, Salat Vaghati) Chappar Band thus so many Vimukta Jati or Janjatis are found.

CENTRAL LIST OF OTHER BACKWARD CLASSES - Name of the Castes/Sub-castes/Synonyms/ Communities of Karnataka - slno 101 - Korwar,Korwari, Kaikadi, Koragar, Yerkala, Erakala, Kunchi, Korva, Koramasetty, Yerukala.

Maharashtra - List of Castes & Tribes -Denotified Tribes (DTs) @ Vimukta Jati (VJ) - Total 14 main Tribes :(Reservation - 3 %) - 1.Berad 2. Bestar, 3. Bhatma, 4. Kaikadi, 5. Kankarbhat, 6. Katabu, 7. Lamani, 8. Phase-Pardhi, 9. Raj-Pardhi, 10. Rajput-Bhatma, 11. Ramoshi, 12. Vadar, 13. Waghari and 14. Chhapparbandh

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 19/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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Bowdi or Bowri or Bowrie means community water reservoirs. The people who dig these reservoirs or wells seems to be known as Bowries. The Bauris, a semi-aboriginal tribe, were the earliest miners . .. and are still noted for their skill and hard work.

Bawdis or bavdis or bavris are traditionally constructed for storing water received from rainfall in the arid region of Rajasthan. bawadis are the traditional rainwater harvesting structures in Gujarat like johads, ponds and wells are in western UP.

It appears that some of the people belonging to this tribe use BOWRI as their surname. Kaikaree is also referred as Bowrie in Rajastan. The bowrie name is given by Rajputs who remained Marwar. Bowrie seems to be the name given to kaikarees because of their close relation with bhils. It could also possible that the bhils who dig bowries (water wells) came to be known as bowries. Bowrie is synonumous to a dacoit. Bowries were all basically related to Rajaputs at some point of time or the other. Those who came into power called themselves as Rajputs and others used to be known as bowries. The water wells dug by the bowrie people are also known as bowries. In Telugu, these bowries are known as bhavis. The water is fetched by going down the walkable steps. The water in bowries is always cool. Bhils and kolis are known as experts in water management.

Kaikadi => Kaikari = Kaikaree
Kaikari = Bowri
Bhil = bhoya = Bhoyi = Bhovi = bovi
Bovi => Bowi => Bowri => Bowrie

The criminalization of certain tribes, for example, provided a means of controlling turbulent populations in the more inaccessible or 'lawless' parts of the subcontinent. According to these laws (most infamously the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871) , tribes such as the Maghyar Doms in Bihar, the Kunjurs or Khangars in Bundelkund and the Ramosi, Mang, Kaikari or Bowrie tribes in the Narmada valley were described as habitually criminal, and adult male members of such groups forced to report weekly to the local police.

The national social folk dance of Rajasthan is the Ghoomar, danced by women in long full skirts and colorful chuneries . Especially spectacular are the Kacchi Ghori dancers of this region. Equipped with shields and long swords, the upper part of their bodies clothed in the traditional attire of a bridegroom and the lower part concealed by a brilliant-colored papier-m�ch� horse built up on a bamboo frame, they enact jousting contests at marriages and festivals. The Bawaris (Bowris), by tradition a criminal tribe that lives on the fringe of. society, are generally expert in this form of folk dance.

The word "Bav" is derived from Gujarati word "Baw or Bav" which means steps or staircase such as those found inside a deep well. Bavris were in the habit of storing the foods in such wells found on the roadside.

The Bavri were notified as a criminal tribe since early times and some of the erstwhile princely states in Saurashtra eg., Rajkot had issued notifications in 1917 about their criminal activities. They hail from Marwar. They claim that they were the Rajputs of Marwar and Mewar regions, but after the fall of Rajput kingdoms some of them took to a nomadic way of life and to criminal activities. They are also known as Babri or Baori also. They speak Gujarati with their neighbours but within the kin group, they speak in Marwariliberally mixed with Gujarathi. They use Gujarati script.

They are non-vegetarians. They egg, fish, mutton, and chicken Their staple foods are rice, wheat, jowar, maize along with various kinds of pulses and vegetables. They are fond of liquor which they purchase from market. They eat fruits very occassionally and as a special food they prepare sera ( wheat flour, gaggery, ginger, etc, boiled in water or milk ) to serve the expectant and latting mothers.

The bavri are an endogamous group having three occupational categories : Kapadia - those who sell garments, Magania - those who live begging and Chatania - those who live on begging and collecting or eating waste food. The community has exogamous clans, some of which are - Chauhan, Parmar, Dave, Solanki, Suryavanshi , Raghuvanshi, Chandravanshi, Bardihar, Rawat, etc. Their own perception is that they are Kshatriyas but other communities rank them as Sudra.

Spiegel says, "Bawri is doubtless Babylon. Bawri is a language of the Pardhi community. Pardhis belong to the great predatory bawari tribe of Gujerath, scattered under different appalations all over India. Known as a nomadic, predatory tribe, the Bawari still to this day make signs on houses, gates, or alongside the road that can only be read by their own tribe informing them of conditions in the area. Many of these same signs were used by the European Gypsies up to the 1950s.

Bawariya was a hunting and criminal tribe practically found only in Muzaffarnagar, and Mirzapur. The Bawariyas in North Western proviences seem to fall into two branches - those residant of upper Duab, who still retain some of their original customs and manners and those to the east, who assert a more respectable origin, and have abandoned their original predatory life. The Bawariyas of Sirsa are divided into four sections.

They attacked the fortress of Chithor and besieged it for twelve years for the sake of princessPadmini, the country became desolate and they were obliged to emigrate in search of employment and disperse. Those that came into the Delhi territory were called Bauris; those that went into Gwalior territory were called Mugins and Baguras. To the Eastward they were called Baddhiks, and in Malwa Haburas. They are not the people of yesterday; they are of ancient and illustrious descent. When Ravana took away the wife of the God Rama, and Rama wanted to recover her, men of all castes went to fight for him in the holy cause. Among the rest was a leader of Bauris called Pardhi.

It is claimed that the tribe known as Bathuris or Bauris have always been crypto-Buddhists and have preserved their ancient customs. The Bauris of Western Bengal appoint as their priests men of their own caste. The Bauris are a dominant Scheduled Caste of West Bengal.

The Bagdis and Bauris also worship Dharmaraj whose shrines are scattered all over Bengal. A low caste priest, even a Dom or a Bagdi usually worships Dharmaraj and as a rule a shapeless stone painted with vermilion and placed under a tree represents Dharmaraj. Dharmaraj is also worshipped very often in the form of a tortoise. It has been mentioned elsewhere that temples containing the emblem of tortoise are not uncommon. What is important is that pigs, fowls and ducks are sacrificed for Dharmaraj and offerings are made of rice, flowers, milk and even the home brewn intoxicant pachwai.

The nomad Bauris or Bawariyas, who caused coins to be counterfeited and committed robberies kept with them a small quantity of wheat and sandal seeds in a tin or brass case, which they called the Devakadana or god's grain, and a tuft of peacock's feathers.

There is an ancient fortess of Bowrie in Rajputana or Rajaputana. Bowris of Koraput district in Orissa do all miscellaneous jobs such as coolies, porters, rickshaw-pullers errand jobs, etc.

Bawariyas and Baheliyas who are actively involved in poaching of lions in Bhavnagar. There are about 15,000 Baheliyas and Bawariyas wanted in some forest crime or the other. The Baheliyas hail from Samalkha in Panipat district of Haryana and the Bawariyas are from Katni in Madhya Pradesh.

The Bawariyas are seemingly an aboriginal tribe and are dark in their skin complexion. Bawariyas have a special dialect, sometimes supposed to be a thieves.

Bavuris are a low class of Oriya basket-makers, living in Ganjam. They claim that palanquin (dhooly or duli) bearing is their traditional 6 occupation, and consequently call themselves Boyi. The Bavuris are apparently divided into endogamous sections, viz., Dulia and Khandi. The former regard themselves as superior to the latter, and prefer to be called Khodalo. Some of these have given up eating beef, call them selves Dasa Khodalos, and claim descent from one Balliga Doss, a famous Bavuri devotee, who is said to have worked wonders analogous to those of Nandan of the Paraiyan community. To this section the caste priests belong. The Bavuris gave the name of two gotras, saptha bhavunia and naga, which are said to be exogamous.

Bauri is a cultivating, earth-working, and palanquin-bearing caste of Western Bengal, whose features and complexion stamp them as of non-Aryan descent. Some belong to persecuted 'criminal tribes' such as the Bawariyas of Sariska. who see tiger poaching as a mostly risk-free investment for life.

Bauris are found in the Madras Presidency are nomad gangs of Bauris or Bawariyas1, 2 who are described as "one of the worst criminal tribes of India. The sphere of their operations extends throughout the length and breadth of the country. They not only commit robberies, burglaries and thefts, but also practice the art of manufacturing and passing counterfeit coins. They keep with them a small quantity of wheat and sandal seeds in a small tin or brass case, which they call Devakadana or God's grain, and a tuft of peacock's feathers, all in a bundle. They are very superstitious, and do not embark on any enterprise without first ascertaining by omens whether it will be attended with success or not. This they do by taking at random a small quantity of grains out of their Devakadana and counting the number of grains, the omen being considered good or bad according to whether the number of seeds is odd or even.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 21/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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People of this community are called with different names in different parts of South India. They are called as Kuruvan or Kuruvar in Tamilnadu, Korama or Koracha in Karnataka, Kaikadi in Maharashtra, Korawa in Chattisgarh, Siddanar in Kerala and Kattu Naicker in Pondicherry. The Kaikadi, Korwa, Korcha and Yerkala are actually one great people.

As a part of grand plan by Aryans, they were given different names only to divide them and weeken their strength and also to make them fight against each other. Thus the small Aryan brahman tribe thrived in dominating the local tribes in their social status and ruled the locals through the local warrior tribes in the name of their Pradhana Mantri ( Chief Minister) and Purohit.

Hill Korwas of Chhatisgarh � a primitive tribe practising food-gathering, hunting and shifting cultivation. In essence, all these communities form a great big community from south india. Pahari Korwas, a primitive tribe of Chhattisgarh, found in the north-eastern region of the state. This tribe has been notified and declared as one of the primitive tribes by Govt. of India during the Fifth Five Year Plan. The word Korba could be a modification of Korwa.

HISTORY books describe the Korwas of Madhya Pradesh as a "criminal tribe". It is a stigma they have lived with for generations, simply because the British found them too unruly to be civilised. Independence has made no difference as census reports of the Indian Government continue to describe them as criminals.

The Korwas are one of the scheduled tribes of Central India. They are variants of pardhis. Pardhi korwas are protected tribe. They live in the hills, valleys, and forests of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. They speak a Munda language, also called Korwa, which belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family. There are two very distinct tribes among the Korwas: the Diharia (or Kisan), who are farmers, and the Paharia (or Benwaria), who live in the hills. These two tribes do not inter-marry. They speak a Munda language, also called Korwa, which belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family.

Korba is the power capital of the newly formed state Chhattisgarh. The district comes under Bilaspur division and is inhabited mainly by tribals including the protected tribe Korwas (Pahadi Korwa). Korba is blessed with lush green forest cover, where a sizable number of tribal population is found

Korwa => Korba

The Hill Korwa are a subtribe of the Korwa, who remained in the hills and dense forests of Madhya Pradesh. Over 60% live in three tehsils of Surguja district, including Ambikapur tehsil where the study was conducted. Hill Korwas had a low female age at marriage, low literacy, low percentages engaged in agriculture, and higher percentages living above the poverty line.

The hill Korwas are most savage - looking of all the kolarian tribes. They are frightfully wild and uncouth in their appearance. The Korwas are short of stature and dark brown in complexion, stongly built and active with good muscular development but seems to be short legged. The Korwas are one of the scheduled tribes of Central India. They live in the hills, valleys, and forests of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. They speak a Munda language, also called Korwa, which belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family. There are two very distinct tribes among the Korwas: the Diharia (or Kisan), who are farmers, and the Paharia (or Benwaria), who live in the hills. Diharias have three sects (i)Dhanuhar or Nahar to-dwa; (ii) Manjhi-Social status, given to them by rulers; and (iii) Deonihar. Pahadia Korwas are known as Benwaria because of their practising Bewar of shifting cultivation. The tribe is further subdivided into totamistic exogamous septs. These tribes normally do not inter-marry.

Both the Korwas of the Chota Nagpur plateau and the Korkus of the Satpura hills were known as Muasi, a term having the meaning of robber or raider. The Korwas have also a subtribe called Koraku, and Mr. Crooke thinks that they were originally the same tribe. Sir G. Grierson states that the Korwa dialect is closely allied to Kharia. Similarly the resemblance of the name raises a presumption that the great Koli tribe of Gujarat and western India may be a branch of the Kols who penetrated to the western coast along the Satpulra and Central India hill ranges. The Kolis and Bhils are tribes of the same country and are commonly spoken of together. Both have entirely lost their own language and cannot therefore be classified definitely either as Kolarian or Dravidian, but there is a probability that they are of the Kolarian family.

There are 30 tribes and sub tribes in the Jharkhand region. The major tribes are Santhals, Oraons, Mundas, Kharias, Hos, Cheros, Kherwars, Korwas, and Birhors. A number of Dravidian tribes like the Gonds, Khonds, Korwas and Koras seem to have migrated into Bihar from the neighbouring states. The koravas or Yerukulas are basically part of bedars or vedars who fall under banjara or vanjara trading community. Nyayaka is generally the chief (Leader) of a nomadic tribe and also the one who gives justice.

Nyaya = Justice
Nyayak = Judge
Nyaya => Nyayak => Nyayaka => Nyayakudu
Nyayakudu => Nayakudu => Nayudu => Naidu => Naidoo
Eruka = sooth saying = to tell information about future

Yerukalas have been nomadic communities since the times unknown. They have been the target of the fears and suspicions of sedentary communities. The Yerukulas of Madras presidency were thus 'criminalized' in the early 20th century by the British Rulers. The Yerukulas were branded as criminals by birth under the "Criminal Tribes Act 1871", enacted by the British Rulers. Several communities relating to mudiraj people such as kolis, ramoshis, bedars were also declared as criminals by British. The bhil races are fundamentally warriors in their blood and they never accept allien commanding powers that undermine their freedom. They silently revolt in their own style similar to valmiky by robbing the alien rulers and their associated men. The became kings when they won in their fight and they became criminals when they lost in their fight. So these great bhil warriors never bothered to be labelled as criminals.

The Ambikapur district is a remotely located, economically backward district of India in Chattishgarh mainly consisting primitive tribes such as Korwas & Pandows. Some believe that Korwas are the descendants of Kauravas and Pandows are the descendants Pandavas of Mahabharat. Among the primitive tribes of Sarguja are Pando and Korwa , who are still living in forest, the Pando tribes believes themselves as the member of "Pandav" clan of epic Mahabharat. Korwa tribes believes to be member of "Kauravs" of Mahabharata.

Known as one of the most 'primitive' tribes in India, the pahari korwas were primarily a hunter and gatherer community living a nomadic life, indulging in slash and burn agriculture, hunting and gathering herbs as they moved along from one place to another. The implementation of the draconian forest laws in the post-independence period, saw these tribals evicted from their homes in the forests.

They are most savage and terrifying," observed Col Philip Dalton, a surveyor during the British Raj. The Korwas have long been hounded out from their homes in the plains and have turned into forest-dwellers in the Sarguja range. Various clans trace their descent to a particular tree or animal. The Hazeda Korwas, for instance, belong to the bamboo tree, the Mudiyas are from a canine lineage while the Ginu Korwas are said to have descended from an ant hill!. The supreme deity among the Korwas is also the sun god. Bhil - kolis, Erukalas too worship Sun God.

Before the British banned human sacrifice, the Korwas sacrificed a Brahmin male child to the goddess every year. Even today, no Brahmin enters the temple of Khuria Rani. These people seems to be the kalabeeras or Kalabhras who invaded South Indian Chola, Chera and Pandyan dynasties. They are said to be buddhists and anti-brahmins.

The Korwas are expert hunters and love to kill a bird flying or an animal running. Before setting out on a hunt, they worship their bows and arrows while seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. They are also very fond of dacoity and proceed on expeditions, often accompanied by their women. The Korwas, who always carry bows and arrows with them. The Pahari Korwas, a primitive tribe of Chhattisgarh, is found in the north-eastern region of Chattishgarh state. This tribe has been notified and declared as one of the primitive tribes by Govt. of India. The natives of Surguja and Raigarh districts, the Pahadi was, are the same 'Korwas' or 'Pardhis' of Raigarh district categorised as Scheduled Tribes (STs) by the Government of India.

The Korwas were a big community. These people built forts and were ruling Podi-Uprora, Lafa, Chaiturgarh, Kosgi, Chhuri etc. They used to fight with the neighboring places to increase their Zamidari. A king named Ghughus belonging to community of Korwas, ruled over Ratanpur.

The tribes have then obtained some variation in the original names or been given separate territorial or occupational designations by the Hindus, and their former identity has gradually been forgotten. Both the Korwas of the Chota Nagpur plateau and the Korkus of the Satpura hills were known as Muasi, a term having the meaning of robber or raider. The Korwas have also a subtribe called Koraku, and Mr. Crooke thinks that they were originally the same tribe. Sir G. Grierson states that the Korwa dialect is closely allied to Kharia. Similarly the resemblance of the name raises a presumption that the great Koli tribe of Gujarat and western India may be a branch of the Kols who penetrated to the western coast along the Satpulra and Central India hill ranges. The Kolis and Bhils are tribes of the same country and are commonly spoken of together. Both have entirely lost their own language and cannot therefore be classified definitely either as Kolarian or Dravidian, but there is a probability that they are of the Kolarian family. The Nahals, another tribe of the western Satpura range, are an offshoot of the Korkus. They are coupled with the Bhils and Kolis in old Hindu accounts.

Korkus are Korwas or akin to Korwas. Korku is a Munda or a Kolarian tribe akin to the Korwas, with whom they have been identified in the India Census of 1901. They number about 150,000 persons in the Central Provinces and Berar, and belong to the west of the Satpura plateau, residing only in the Hoshangabad, Nimar, Betul and Chhindwara Districts. About 30,000 Korkus dwell in the Berar plain adjoining the Satpuras, and a few thousand belong to Bhopal.

The word Korku denotes "tribesmen". According to Russel and Hiralan, the Korkus are Mundaris or Kolarians akin to Korwas. They reside mostly in the districts of East Nimar, Hoshangabad, Betul and Chindwara. One of the Korku groups is potharia Korku and live on Southern side of Vindhya Mountains in Central India. The Korkus are sturdy, dark-skinned, primitive cultivators. The Korkus are remarkably honest and truthful. They supplemented this form of cultivation by hunting and collecting jungle produce. They work as farm servants, plougmen, and depend on agriculture practising shifting cultivation in some parts. The hilly regions fall mainly on the Vindhya and Satpura ranges where Bhils, Gonds, Korkus and other tribes of mixed descent practice agriculture. The Gawli tribe does cattle grazing while the Korkus work in the farms.

The Korkus are confined to a small portion in the Narmada valley. Some of them have taken to work in the coal-mines around Chhindwara to support themselves. They were all of low stature, the Korkus perhaps averaging an inch or two higher than the Gonds, who seldom exceed five feet two inches. The Korkus live in villages, the layout of which differs strikingly from the irregular village settlements of other aboriginal tribes in the region. Nahal, Nihal - a forest tribe who are probably a mixture of Bhils and Korkus.

In the Korku tribe, their surnames, village names and area names are more specific to their locality. Korkus are very conservative in nature and a bit lazy. The Korkus speak a language belonging to the Austro-Asiatic linguistic group and are believed to be similar to the Santhal tribe. study by Professor S R Walimbe of the Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute here concludes that 'the Korkus are much more nearer to some Mundari speaking tribes, like the Santhal'. Almost all the Korkus of Khandwa Tehsil (East Nimar District) declared Nimari, a dialect of Hindi, as their mother tongue. This means that the tribal linguistic area for the Korkus is obviously smaller than the tribal area. The Korkus of the Khandwa Tehsil have made a complete shift to Nimadi, a regional dialect of Hindi with no intention to revive their traditional languages. "The people consider themselves superior to those Korkus who have retained their traditional linguistic identity and live in the Hersud Tehsil".The Korkus avoid speaking to outsiders and any query will elicit a standard "Hau Hau" (Yes Yes) response from them.

Korkus even today imitate their ancestral art which is at least six thousand years old. Some of the rock-shelter paintings resemble very closely the memorial art of Korkus. A man riding a horse with the servant following him with a decorated umbrella, as depicted in rock painting, indicates his higher status. Korkus do not rear any horses but their dead man always riders a horse. This might be a vestige of their ancestral style that remained unchanged in the last six thousand years! Horse association of Korkus also be an indiaction to their connection to Aryan blood.

The Korkus are one of the oldest pre-Aryan aboriginal tribes of India and today they are one of the smallest tribes in the country. Korkus is an aboriginal tribe found in the modern Dang District of Gujarat state, India. During the British Raj of pre-independent India, the Dangs was a part of central provinces, dwelling on the Satpura hills. The Korkus are the westernmost Munda tribe in the Satpura and Mahadeo Hills. The tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh is mostly made up of Korkus, Gonds, Bhils, Baigas, Sahiras and. There are other tribes also. Betul has predominantly Korku and Gond tribes.

Chikaldara is the home of the Korkus tribe. Chikaldara lies in the district of Amravati, 763 kms away from Bombay by road, in the Vidharba region. Situated in the Gavilgarh Hills, a offshoot of the Satpura range, it is surrounded by lakes and waterfalls. The tribe has been declared as an aboriginal tribe by the State Government on 18 December 1971.

They are rapidly becoming hinduized. Their main dieties are Dongardeo, Mutna Deo, and Mata but for all practical purposes their religion is animalistic. They speak the Korku language. The then deputy commissioner of Amravati, Mr. Stent, sent a note to the census officer saying that the educated Indian officers maintained that Gonds, Korkus, Bhils, Gowaris and Banjaras were Hindus, and that he himself. The "KORKU" tribe of Dt. Amravati of Maharashtra, are a forest tribe. They were food-gatherers. The rich teak forest, their home, has been depleted. Plenty has been written about them. Many good organisations and persons are sending them processed and unprocessed food in mountains. The Korkus do not touch such food. This tract of Melghat is populated every almost entirely by the aboriginal Korkus and similar tribes, a people of the poorest condition, shy and diffident, living from hand to mouth, with no resources and extremely averse to any work except fitful labour in the forests. Korkus in Melghat were more advanced than Mahadev hills that time too.

The majority of the tribal population in the reserve of Amaravati are Korkus. The other tribes include Gonds, Balais and Gawalis. The Korkus came to live in the reserve a century ago, brought in as forest labour by the British. They were given land pattas and encouraged to grow their own food. The tribal village of Bori is located in the heart of the Melghat Tiger Reserve in Amravati district. Bori, Koha and Kund are the first of the 58 villages in the reserve to be resettled successfully. Some of India's most ancient communities, forest-dwelling tribes are - the Chenchus (Andhra Pradesh) and the Korkus (Maharashtra). In one way of the other , most of these people are dependent on the natural resources.

The Korku language, which is often called the Kolarian language, belongs to the Munda Family of languages. This is further Divided into northern and southern groups. The general name for the northern languages is Kherwari: it includes Santali, Mundari, Bhumij, Birhor, Koda, Ho, Turi, and Asuri. The southern languages include Juang, Bondo, Sora, Gadaba, and Pareng. For territorial, social, and/or religious reasons the Korkus are divided into a number of endogamous sections: Bopchis, Mowasis, Bondhis, and Bondayas, for example. Depending on its degree of Hinduization or Sanskritization, the rank of a section varies. This splits the Korkus into two rough divisions: the Sanskritized Deshi Korkus and the Potharia Korkus.

People of the plains have two names for the most-used sections of territory: Muikal Hills for the easternmost range; and Satpura Hills for the westernmost section (outsiders use the name "Satpura" for the whole chain of hills). Most of the central portion of the Satpura range is occupied by Korkus, while at the same time they have extended their habitat into the regions north and south of the Satpuras. The staple food of the Korku is joari (or sorghum, made into wheat bread and eaten with vegetables or pulse) or rice with pulse and vegetables.

A tribe called 'korku' is the most prevalent tribe there in Melghat. Korkus are descendents of migrant people from bihar brought during british regime for labour & were exploited n suppressed. It has been assessed that this tribe is almost 300 yrs behind the present world. These people have been caught between inefficient farming which they have been forced to take up because their native occupation hunting has been banned. The financial, social n cultural set up is surviving on century old practices.

The tribe have a language of their own, which resembles that of the Kols of Chota N�gpur. The language of the Korwas, another Munda tribe found in Chota Nagpur, is 1 also known as Koraki or Korki, and one of their subcastes has the same name. Some Korkus or Mowasis are found in Chota Nagpur, and Colonel Dalton considered them a branch of the Korwas. There is little reason to doubt then that the Korkus are the same tribe as the Korwas, and both of these may be taken to be offshoot of the great Kol or Munda tribe. The Korkus have come much further west than their kinsmen, and between their residence on the Mahadeo or western Satpira hills and the Korwas and Kols, there lies a large expanse mainly peopled by the Gonds and other Dravidian tribes, though with a considerable sprinkling of Kols in Mandla, Jubbulpore and Bilaspur. One of the largest subdivisions of the Korkus is termed Mowasi, and this name is sometimes applied to the whole tribe, while the tract of country where they dwell was formerly known as the Mowas.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 21/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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These tribes are known by different names as Bahelia, Chita Pardhi, Lango Pardhi, Paidia, Paradi, Paria, Phans Pardhi, Takankar and Takia. These tribes are found in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Their language is also described as Pardhi. The Takaris are connected with the Pardhi caste of professional hunters. These people, scattered over a wide area of central India in the states of Andrah Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Their language, Pardhi, is one of the Bhil languages. Their name is derived from the Marathi word paradh, which means "hunting."

The Takankar are originally an occupational offshoot of Pardhis. They are now settled agriculturalists or agricultural labourers. They are also known as Takari, Takia or Takankar in other parts of Maharastra. The Pardhi or Takankar mends the stone grinding-mills by hammering the surface to roughen it when it has worn smooth. These Takankar pardhis of Maharastra are also known as Kunchbandhias because of their trade of making brushes ( kunch ) of the roots

They migrated to Maharashtra and started works like stone brugging and farming. Gaon Pardhis are found mostly in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and in districts like Buldana, Akola and Amravati. Now most of Gaon Pardhis are educated and some have become doctors and enginners also. Gaon Pardhis are strong followers of Maharana Pratap and Godess Devi.

The Pardhi are a rather unusual people in comparison the surrounding Bhil tribes. Because of their refusal to become a part of the caste system (a rigid system of social classes), they are a predominantly isolated group. They prefer hunting, begging, or even stealing for a living, rather than submitting to a social system that they consider demeaning and degrading. Those who make a living by thievery steal items that they can trade or sell, as well as standing crops for food.

Pardhis of Amaravati are the same kind as Takaris and Kaikaris but are now quite distinct. Pardhis are bhils closely related to Erukala tribe. Ekalavya is known to belong this Bhil - Erukala tribe. This tribe is also closely related to Bedars of Karnataka and Maharastra.

The ancestor of Pardhees was Ummur Singh Pardhee and he was one of the companions of Ram in his expedition for the recovery of Seeta. Pardhee was his title. His occupation was that of hunting; he used to eat the meat of animals and birds of every description except that of cow, peacock and cocks. After successful expedition of Sriram againsr Rawana, Sriram agreed to the request of Ummur Singh and permitted him to take his abode near Chittorgurh, and in the course of time, his descendants multiplied. This confirms that pardhis are part of Vanara race, which also includes bedars, bants, banjaras, ramoshis, valmikis, etc.

Pardhis have two sub-divisions, Phans Pardhis and Langoti Pardhis. The Phans Pardhis take their name from the Phans (noose) which they use in catching birds and animals. They lead a nomadic life and live under tents. They do not normally commit crime. The Langoti Pardhis derive their name from wearing the langoti.

Phase Pardhi or Phasse Pardhi are a tribe in India. The tribe often faces harassment by Indian law enforcement agencies. The tribe is found mostly in Maharashtra and parts of Madhya Pradesh. The Phasse are a sub tribe of the Pardhi caste. Pardhi is the term for "hunter". The Pal-Pardhl are a community of hunters. The name of the community is derived from two words pal and pardh. Pal means tent and pardh means hunters. They say that their forefathers were from Rajastan, mainly from Chittorgarh area from where Rana Pratap Singh fought with the Moghals and fled to the jungle. They also left Chittorgarh with him and came to Maharastra and called themselves Pardh (hunters). Their Rajput origin is confirmed by the fact that they have Rajput clan names and still speak Rajastani dialect among themselves. The Pardhi community has traditional skills in relation with wildlife and animal behavior. The Pardhis are a fine race of men with a physiognomy peculiar to themselves.

These pardhis had assisted Shivaji Maharaj and Rana Pratap. It is well known that in times of distress, Rana Pratap was helped by the Adivasis to recapture his lost. Kingdom. Gaon Pardhis are basically from Rajasthan. They are followers of Maharana Pratap. When Maharana Pratap died these peoples suffered a great deal.

There are 42 nomadic tribes in Maharashtra. One of them known as "PARDHIS" are branded as bandits since the days of British Rule. Every time a theft, robbery or dacoity takes place, all the Pardhi males in the adjoining places are rounded up and taken into police custody. Pardhis have no permanent abodes. They live in make-shift tents, moving from place to place.

The Pardhis, however, are an extremely close-knit community with social codes, customs and norms of their own. Murder, assault, beating, torture, etc. are all taken in thier stride as a way of life by the Pardhis. Their family codes are extremely severe. The government had recognised Pardhis as a "criminal caste".

For over eighty years under British rule in India, the entire Pardhi tribe were classified 'criminal' based on anecdotal evidence from corrupt police. Despite removing the label in the 1950s, Pardhi still face widespread discrimination and harassment by authorities. This is one of the 150-plus tribes that the British -- with their 1871 Criminal Tribes Act -- actually defined as criminal. And even if independent India repealed that Act in 1952, Pardhis are still widely seen as criminal. In effect, if you are born a Pardhi, you are considered a criminal. these pardhi tribes are also forced to engage in criminal activities by the police and receivers of stolen goods". Laxman Gaikwad, who belongs to the Pardhi tribe, bears testimony to this.

Kaikadi Erukalas were originally the Bhil Pardhis. They were engaged to handle the animal herds by the Royal courts of Gujarat. There they got the name Gaikawad. The Kaikadi is a gradual modification of the name Gaikwad. The Kakathiyas who established their dynasty at Warangal were the descendants of Gaikwad clans of Gujarat and originally belong to Bhil Pardhi race. Gai means Cow, and Kaval means protector or handler.

Gai = Cow
Kaval = Protector or Handler
Gai + Kaval = Gaikaval = Cow protector or Cow handler
Gaikaval => Gaikwad => Gaikwadi => Gaikadi => Kaikadi
Kaikadi => Kakadi => Kakati => Kakatiya

The Pardhis from the Marathi word for a huntsman are a wandering people ostensibly occupied in snaring game. The Pardhis of Berar admit that they are Baurias, who originated from Rajputana and are held to be aborigines of that part of India. The Pardhis have the custom whereby on the death of an elder brother the younger takes his widow to wife. In religion, besides worshipping their ancestors, they worship goddesses who are now identified with the Hindu goddess Devi, but who are known in the caste by many different names. Sometimes they carry small silver images of these deities; at other times they fashion one of clay.

The most common criminal castes of the Amaravati District in Maharastra are the Pardhis, Kaikaris, Bhamtas, Mang Garodis and Takaris; though Banjaras, Ramosis and many other wanderers of doubtful reputation are also met with. Pardhis have two sub-divisions, Phans Pardhis and Langoti Pardhis. The Phans Pardhis take their name from the Phans (noose) which they use in catching birds and animals. They lead a nomadic life and live under tents. They do not normally commit crime. The Langoti Pardhis derive their name from wearing the langoti (a strip of cloth about two feet long and six or eight inches broad, passed between the legs and the ends tucked in to a waist-band before and behind) because of their fear that a dhoti if worn might become soiled and therefore unlucky. The Langoti Pardhis are also called Gaon Pardhis and are further subdivided into Chauhan, Ponwar and and Solanki, all three being names of well-known Rajput clans. As a rule they marry girls from another class, thus a Chauhan would marry a Ponwar girl and so on. In religion, besides worshipping their ancestors, they worship goddesses who are now identified with the Hindu goddess Devi but who are known in the caste by different names. Chauhans worship Amba, Ponwars worship Marai Mata, and Solankis Kali or Kalanka. The pipal tree is held specially sacred.

Ponwar => Powar => Pawar

Nandakumar Pawar is a member of the Pardhi community, who came from Barsi village in Solapur. They have no ration cards and no identity by joining Buddhism A majority of the converts belonged to this community. Hindus are committing atrocities on Hindus.

The Lambadas and Pardhis migrated to the Deccan. Lambadas are the great Roma gypsies of the world who spread from north Rajasthan to most of western India and through Central Asia to Russia and Europe. They have retained their language to this day all over the world and thus also contributed to Dakhni. Pardhis are a bird-trapper community, also from Rajasthan, and are thinly spread all over the Deccan. They too retain their language.

The Langoti Pardhis are also called Gaon Pardhis and are further subdivided into Chauhan, Ponwar and and Solanki, all three being names of well-known Rajput clans. The Solankis were non other than the Chalukyas. In religion, besides worshipping their ancestors, they worship goddesses who are now identified with the Hindu goddess Devi but who are known in the caste by different names. Chauhans worship Amba, Ponwars worship Marai Mata, and Solankis Kali or Kalanka. The pipal tree is held specially sacred.

Kalanka = Ankala
Ankala -> Ankalamma => Ankamma

The chief religious ceremony at which many gather together, is Deo Karia which is performed in the month of Chait. The idol of Kalanka Bhawani is taken to a tree two or three miles from a village and placed with its face to the east. In front of it a fire-place of earth is made, on which wheaten cakes or sweetmeats are prepared in a large fry-pan. These are taken barehanded out of the boiling oil by any Pardhi who is possessed by the goddess. A. young buffalo or a goat is brought to the spot and stabbed in the left side of the neck; the idol; is besmeared with the blood which spouts out, and the worshippers then taste it themselves. The animal is then killed. To the north of the idol a small mound is raised, On the third day, by which the flesh has all been eaten, the skull of the animal is placed on the mound, ghi and country liquor is poured on it, and fire is applied. This burnt offering closes the ceremony These are the meetings at which ways and means for committing crime are discussed as well as caste disputes settled, and results of past offences related.

The Phans Pardhis never use the railway; and are forbidden the use of any conveyance whatever. The Gaon Pardhis are polluted if their women happen to throw their lugdas on the roof of their house. They generally keep an earthern pot for washing clothes and any cattle touching this pot are polluted and must be sold away or given in charity at once. It is said that Chauhan women will not ride in a cart, drink liquor or wear red cloth. Ponwar women may not ride in a cart, but may drink liquor; and they will not touch gold or eat anything which lives in water.

Pardhis of Akola are, like most of the castes, divided into several sub-castes; the Langoti Pardhis are commonly given to petty thefts from fields or houses, and the old men can hardly talk to a Government officer without endless demands that if they do not speak the truth, they may be hanged, transported, blown from a gun, or the like.

Pardhis, classified as a criminal tribe, face large scale socio - economic discrimination. Pardhi children are deprived from basic education and health care facilities and often resoret to begging in cities. As the tribes are denotified and do not possess fration cards, they remain deprived from government provisions. This renders food insecurity along with other socio - economic insecurities. Child labour and child marriages are rampant.

The Pardhi are also found in the districts of Bastar , Raigarh, Raipur. Sarguja and Bilaspur in Chattishgarh state.The Pardhi have a large number of endogamous subdivisions. The main subdivisions are Shikari or Bhil Pardhi, Pahnse Pardhi, Langotia Pardhi, and Tukankar Pardhi. They have five totemic clans. Basket making is their primary occupation, while agriculture and agricultural labour is their secondary occupation. They worship family and village dieties like Mata, as well as clan and they propitiate regional dieties like Dateswari

The main occupation of the Oraons and Pardhi is mat weaving, although these tribes farm as well. The Hill Korwa apparently still subsist entirely on hunting, gathering minor forest products and collecting fuel wood.

The Gardi community is a group of sub castes such as Bhils, Laman, Vanzara, Pardhi, Mahadeo Koli, Masan Jogi and other Maratha subcastes living in the Deccan between Burhanpur on banks of Tapi up to Hyderabad in Telangana region. Some castes in the Pardhi community of Burhanpur worship Ibrahim Khan Gardi as well as Suleiman Khan Gardhi in their rituals & ballads. To this date, some of the Pardhi communities' folklore have various songs in praise of Ibrahim Khan Gardi as well as Suleiman Khan Gardhi.Pardhi community have developed special aptitude to handle weaponry such as guns and pistols as well as dynamite. Their forefathers, the Gardhis, were essentially musketeers serving as personal guards of the Peshwas with an extreme sense of loyalty to their masters. The same trend continues with the Pardhi community.

Chatrapati Shivaji his sons Sambhaji, Rajaram & his daughter in law used forefathers of gardi community to carry out espionage for raids on Surat, Burhanpur, Jalna, ujjain, pune .Notables among them were Bahirji Naik who carried out espionage for Shivaji & commanded a force of 3000 men from gardi communities like Ramoshis, Dhangars, Bhils, Lamans, Vanzara, Pardhi, Mahadeo Koli, Masan Jogis.

Parthians :
Pardhis are also known as Parthians. The Parthians were originally a tribe of Scythians, who, being exiled as their name implies from their own country Iran during pre Islamic periods and settled near hyreania. Parthian means native or inhabitant of Parthia (ancient kingdom northeast of Persia in western Asia. Their horsemen, who were expert at racing forward, turning, and shooting arrows backward at the moment of retreat. These Parthians were Scythic Tartars of the Turian race. Their empire was the rival of Rome, and more than once proved her match on the battlefield. Athurpaat, according to some historians, was the name of a Parthian tribe whose leader Athurpat was a great General. The Parthians were members of the Parni tribe, a nomadic people of Iranian. It is also said that the Parthians were the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel.

Parthians => Pardhians => Pardhans
Pardhians => Pardhis

The Pallavas are first attested in the northern part of Tamil Nadu, precisely the geographical region expected for an invading group. This, together with the evident phonetic similarity between the words "Pallava" and "Pahlava", has long led researchers to advocate a Parthian origin of the Pallavas. The word Pahlava, from which the name Pallava appears to be derived, is believed to be a corruption of Parthava, Parthiva or Parthia, and Dr. Bhandarkar calls the Indo-Parthians Pahlavas. It is possible that the Pallavas were not one distinct tribe or class but a mixed population. Pallavas and Mutharayars were matrimonially related to each other.

To make a long story short, the Scythians were generally descended from the ten tribes of Israel who fled to the Black Sea region from the Promised Land to escape an Assyrian captivity, and the Parthians were the descendants of the ten tribes who did go into the Assyrian captivity. These Israelites were all prophesied to grow exceedingly large in population after their removal from the Promised Land (Hosea 1:10), and Josephus records that their numbers in Asia were large beyond count by the 1st century AD (Antiquities, XI, V, 2).

The White Huns who ruled Afghanistan for a time were the Israelite tribe of Naphtali. The Scythians and Parthians did not forget their Israelite origins. During the time of the Parthian Empire (circa 250 BC- 227 AD), one Parthian city located southeast of the Caspian Sea was named "Samariane" (Ancient History by George Rawlinson, p. 475), preserving the exact name of the capital city of Samaria in the Israelite ancestral homeland in the old Promised Land.

The Parthians were consummate horsemen, known for a military tactic called the Parthian shot. They are noted in western history for defeating the Greek Seleucid Empire and ending the Hellenization of Iran. By 129 BC, the Parthians were in control of the lands east of the Tigris river, and established a winter encampment at Ctesiphon, downstream from modern Baghdad. From around 130 BC, the Parthians suffered numerous incursions by Scythian nomads (also called the Tocharians from Bactria, possibly the Yuezhi), in which kings Phraates II and Artabanus I were successively killed. Scythians again invaded Parthia around 90 BC, putting king Sanatruces on the Parthian throne.

The Parthians were a people of northeastern Iran who came to control almost all of the original Seleucid realm, including of course northern Kuwait, and even extending down the eastern shore of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea much as the first Persian Empire had. The Parthians established their capital at Ctesiphon ("TESS-if-on"), across the Tigris from Seleucia. In Iraq. It was during the Parthian years that Mesopotamia came in contact with the great western empire of the Romans. Parthia was the only empire the Romans clashed with that they could not crush. Quite the contrary, Parthia was a constant danger to Roman possessions in the East for centuries. In 224 A.D., the Parthians suffered the same fate as the Medes 773 years before: a Persian prince revolted against his Parthian overlords and established a new empire, of roughly the same dimensions as Parthia, under the control of his family, the Sassanids. They replaced the Parthians' feudalistic realm with an efficient, centralized empire that was the most powerful state of late antiquity. The temples of the Parthians, and the statues of their deified monarchs, were thrown down with ignominy.

Julius, Augustus and Tiberius had intermittent difficulties with the Parthians, who, along with the Afghan Kushans, controlled the trade routes through Afghanistan. The Romans were not welcome there. The Parthians left no written account of themselves, but must have known the origins of silk

The Parthians were a tribe of the Indo-Germanic branch which dwelt on the south-east of the Caspian, and belonged to the same race as the Getae, the Massagetae, and other nations, confounded by the ancients under the vague denomination of Scythians. The formidable power of the Parthians, which spread from India to the frontiers of Syria, was in its turn subverted by Ardshir, or Artaxerxes; the founder of a new dynasty, which, under the name of Sassanides, governed Persia till the invasion of the Arabs. The Parthians were defeated in three great battles. In the last of these their king Artaban was slain, and the spirit of the nation was forever broken.

The Parthians had much in common with their distant kinsmen, the Sakas (Scythians); only they were a good deal culturally less refined than the people they replaced. It is believed that the Shakas moved southward under pressure from the Pahlavas (Parthians) in India. The word Pahlava, from which the name Pallava appears to be derived, is believed to be a corruption of Parthava, Parthiva or Parthia, and Dr. Bhandarkar calls the Indo-Parthians Pahlavas. The territories of the Indo-Parthians lay in Kandahar and Seistan, but extended during the reign of Gondophares (about AD 20 to 60) into the Western Punjab and the valley of the lower Indus. The Andhra king Gotamiputra, whose dominions lay in the Dakhan, claims to have defeated about AD 130 the Palhavas along with the Sakas and Yavanas. It has been suggested by some historians that the Indo-Skythians and Indo-Parthians are one and the same, given the simlarity of their coinage and the names on the coins.

The Andhs, the Gonds and Pardhans have adopted Hindu dress and customs to a larger extent than in Madhya Pradesh. The Pardhans are the bards and musician of the Gonds. Hereditary bards and professional storytellers called Pardhans tell stories about Gond legends and myths. This makes for a rich oral tradition. The Pardhans are the priests of the Gonds and take the clothes and jewels of the dead.

The Dandakaranya area comprising the tribal districts of Gadchiroli in Maharashtra and Kanker, Jagdalpur and Dantewada in Chattisgarh. The four districts are inhabited by the primitive Muria tribe (known as Gonds in Adilabad) and Dorla tribe (known as Pardhans in Dandakaranya). Under rainfed conditions, these hill tribes practice the `podu' cultivation, which entails the clearance of large tracts of forest land.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 22/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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The Takankar are originally an occupational offshoot of Pardhi tribe. The Takaris are connected with the Pardhi caste of professional hunters. They were nomadic about three centuries ago. They are now settled agriculturists and agricultural labourers. They are also known as Takari, Takla or Takankar in other parts of Maharashtra..

The Takankars are regularly employed as village servants in Berar and travel about reoghening the stones of house hold grinding mills when their surfaces have worn smooth. In Berar, besides the regular Beldars two castes of stone workers are found, the pathrawats or Pathrots (stone breakers) and the Takaris, who should perhaps be classed as separate castes. Both make sharpen millstones and grindstones and they are probably only occupational groups of recent formation.

The Langoti Pardhis and Takankars are the worst offenders. Both the Takankars and langoti Pardhis have strong criminal tendencies. Today what we call criminal activities were supposed to be the warrior character of ancient warrior clans. Such warriors alone could be successful in establishing their rule of law in the country in which they used to live.

The Takaris take their name from the verb "takne" to reset or rechisel. They mend the hand mills ( Chakkis ) used for grinding corn, an occupation which is some times shared with them by the langoti pardhis. The takaris avocation of chiselling grindstones gives them excellent opportunities for examining the intyerior economy of houses, and the position of boxes and cupboards, and for gauging the wealth of the inmates. They are the most inveterate house breakers and dangerous criminals. A form of the crime favoured by Takari, in common with many other crminal classes is that of decoying into a secluded spot outside the village the would be receiver of the stolen property and robbing him of his cash - a trick The chisel with which they chip the grind stones furnishes, an excellent implement for breaking a hole through the mud wall of a house.

Who were these people who were gathered into these Criminal Tribes? Throughout India they were known as "thieves" or "rogues". The native name for such a man was "Bhampta". In the Poona district, and also at Baramati, these people called themselves Takaris which means stone-dressers. These Bhamptas were originally expert "pick-pockets". Later they became railway thieves. To these people stealing was their caste occupation. All this activity was carried out according to strict rules. Children were taught to pilfer at bazaars. If unsuccessful, they were beaten.

It used to be a rule that a young man could not marry until he had stolen a nose-ring off a woman's face. At public fairs, the Bhamta caste women entertained the crowds by dancing while the men folk moved among the people and picked pockets and pilfered anything available. Some of these groups of Bhamptas could be likened to gipsy tribes who move throughout India. They also engaged in "highway robbery". To these people this type of thieving was their way of life. In fact one chief of a criminal tribe said to his judge, "We are necessary. God has sent us on earth to punish the avaricious and the rich. We are a kind of divine scourge. And for the rest, without us, what would you judges do?"

The Takaris mend the handmills (chakkis) used for grinding corn. The Pardhi or the Takankar used to mend the stone grinding mills by hammering the surface to roughen it when it was worn smooth. He was not found in all localities in Yeotmal.They are practically confined to the plain tahsils of Buldhana .Takankars or Takaris are found chiefly in the northern taluks of Akola; they number altogether 2,911; old men speak of them as the chief robbers of former times.

Russel and Hiralal have mentioned that Takankars regularly employed as village servants in Berara (Central Proviences) and travel about roughening the grinding mill stones for which they received annual contribution of grains from each household. Now owing to the opening of electricity operated grinding mills for flour and spices, their trditional occupations has not survived. They also used to go on hunting expedition in their liesure time or when they needed food very badly. Now they are agriculturists and most of them are engaged as labourers on daily wages either in the forests or on the road side

The Pardhi Language belongs to a Bhil subgroup of Indo-European family. The alternative names are Takankar Takia Paradi Paria Lango Pardhi Paidia Phans Pardhi Bahelia Chita Pardhi. The dialect names are - Pittala Bhasha, Takari Neelishikari. In Telugu language Pitta means Bird. When peopl talk in Telugu very fast, it is often termed as "Kaaki Gola" meaning the noise of Crows. Kaaki means Crow and Gola means noise. It is indeed true that most of the dravidian languages sound like that of birds language or noise or crows.

Pittala = Bird's
Bhasha = Language
Pittala Bhasha = Bird's Language

The marriage rules of the Takankar do not permit them to marry out side their own community and persons of the same surname can not marry each other. The earlier marriage rules also prohibited marriage within four or five degrees of relationship and marriage with a father's sister's or mother's sister's daughter not allowed. Among the Takaris, the marriages are also prohibited between the members of the same kul and those having the same family goddess. But it is not the with Takankars who worship Goddess Kalanka.

In religion, besides worshipping their ancestors, they worship goddesses who are now identified with the Hindu goddess Devi but who are known in the caste by different names. Chauhans worship Amba, Ponwars worship Marai Mata, and Solankis Kali or Kalanka. The pipal tree is held specially sacred.The Goddess KALANKA worshipped by Takankars and the Goddess ANKALA worshipped by Mudiraj and Cholas seems to be the same.

Kalanka => Ankala => Ankalamma => Ankamma
Ankamma => Angamma => Ammanga

The dialect name Pittala Bhasha of Pardhi language indicates that they are Dravidians and closely related to Telugus. Takankars also worship Goddess Kalanka (Ankala ) Devi similar to Solankis. We all know that Telugu Mudirajas, Tamil Muthurajas, and Cholas worship Goddess Ankalamma or Ankamma or Angamma or Ammanga

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 22/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India.

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Takaris are known as Bhamtas in some places or Bhamtas are a branch of Takaris. In some places Bhamtas are known as Kaikadis and this means that the Kaikadis are related to Pardhis and Takaris. Members of other castes as Chatru, Kanjar, Rawat and others who have taken to stealing, are frequently known as Bhamtas. The Bhamtas proper have two main divisions, the Chhatri Bhamtas, who are usually immigrants from Gujarat, and those of the Maratha country, who are often known as Bhamtis.The sections of Chhatri Bhamtas are named after Rajput septs, as Badgujar, Chauhan, Bhatti, Kachhwaha and others. They may be partly Rajpur descent, as they have regular and pleasing features and a fair complexion and are well built and sturdy. The Bhamtis have Maratha surnames. Rajput Bhamta or Pardesi Bhamtas are a distinct class than TAKARI BHAMTAS.

The auther of Bombay gazetter considers that the Poona bhamtas come , not from the East or South - East, but from the North. And are of Rajput descent. Bhamtas consist of two exogamous sub-divisions, Jadhav and Gaikwad. Marriages are prohibited between the members of the same sub-division and within four degrees on the boy's sode and three degrees on girls side.A member of the caste may marry two sisters and brothers may marry sisters. Some say that the Rajput Bhamta or Pardesi Bhamtas are a distinct class than Takaribhamtas. The class of these Rajput Bhamtas may be different due to reasons of mixed blood but the could be related in some way or the other.

These wandering communities posses wonderful knowledge about herbs and medicines therefore their expertise can be utilized in the collection and development of herbs and medicinal plants, which are in great demand in the country and outside.

In Sanskrit language, "Bhraman" means wandering or moving or circling, so the people who are wandering could be called "Bhramanas". The word "Bhramana" seems to have slowly got corrupted and modified to "Bhamta".

Bhraman = moving or wandering
Bhramanas = Wandering people.
Bhraman => Bhramana
Bhramanas => Bhamanas => Bhamatas => Bhamtas

Similar subdivisions - Jadhav and Gaikwad are seen among Kaikadi Erukalas who established Kakatiya Telugu kingdom at Warangal. It is also proved that Kaikadis were originally Pardhi Eruklas and they were known as Gaikwads because they looked after Cows (Gai) and other animals of Gujarat Royal courts. So the Bhamtas seems to the same people as that of Pardhis, Gaikwads & Kaikadis. They are originally Telugu speaking dravidians from Sindhu & Gujarat. It is also proved that Telugu new Year Ugadi is celebrated even today in Sindhu, Gujarat, Maharastra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This is the tract throgh which these people spread across India when Sindhu region was invaded by Aryans & Scythians and when river Saraswati of Rajastan dried up.

En thoven (1922) found the Takaris distributed in Khandesh, Nasik, Ahamadnagar, and Sholapur. He further writes that they are considered by some to be a branch of Bhamtas. They also live in the districts of Amaravati, Akola, Buldana and Nagpur. The Bhamtas are also found in Bombay, Berar and Hyderabad. Threre are Dravidian (Telugu)- speaking Bhamtas.

The criminal castes of the Wardha District are the Bhamtas, Mangs, Kaikaris, Kolams and the wandering Rohillas, which term includes in Wardha Afghan pedlars and gangs of Baluchis. These classes at least have a bad reputation, but in many cases their propensity to crime has decreased if not vanished, and they have settled down to respectable callings. The Bhamtas are called in Bombay ' Uchhla' or 'Lifter' and this is also the name of a subcaste of the Mangs. The Bhamtas were formerly notorious thieves, but many of the caste are now engaged in the cultivation of hemp, from which they make ropes, mats and gunny-bags. It used to be said in Wardha that a Bhamta girl would not accept her suitor until he had been arrested not less than fourteen times by the police, when she considered that he had qualified as a man.

Bhamta's, or Pickpockets, are found solely in Barsi. They look like high caste Hindus, and speak a mixture of Hindustani Gujarati and Marathi. Their dwellings are the same as Maratha houses either wattle or daub huts or houses with mud and stone walls and thatched roofs. Both men and women dress like high caste Hindus, the women drawing the upper end of the robe over the head and the skirt back between the feet. They have the same rules about food as Marathas, eating the flesh of sheep, goats, fowls, hare, and deer, and eggs, and drinking liquor. When they start on a thieving expedition either in gangs or singly the men dress in silk-bordered waistcloths and shouldercloths, coats, coloured waistcoats, and big newly-dyed turbans with large gold ends dangling down their backs and folded either in Maratha or Brahman fashion. Both men and women are petty thieves and pickpockets, and steal only between sunrise and sunset. They are under the eye of the police and those who are well known to the police and are aged give up picking pockets and settle as husbandmen.

BHAMTAS ( IAKARIS ) : C.T. in Bombay province. Also known as GHANTICHOR and UCHALYA. In Bombay state known as KHIS-KATTRUS; VADARI, KALWADOAR; TUDUG WAWDAR; KAWATIS. VHAMPTA (Rajput) : Rajput Bhamta or Pardesi Bhamtas are a distinct class than TAKARI BHAMTAS. C.T. in Bombay province.

The Bhamtas were very clever in adopting disguises, and dressing as members of another caste. They would keep to one disguise for years, and often travelled hundreds of miles entering and stealing from the houses of the class of persons whose dress they adopted, or taking service with a merchant or trader, and, having gained their employer's confidence, seizing an opportunity to abscond with some valuable property. The Banjaras are, in social estimation, on a par with Bhamtas (thieves).

A Bhamta rarely retained stolen property on his person while there was a chance of his being searched and was therefore not detected. They showed considerable loyalty to one another, and never stole from or gave information against a member of the caste. If stolen property was found in a Bhamta's house, and it had merely been deposited there for security, the real thief came forward. A Bhamta was never guilty of housebreaking or gang-robbery, and if one took part in such an offence he was put out of caste. He never stole from the body of a person asleep. He was, however, expert at the theft of ornaments from the person. He never stole from a house in his own village and the villagers frequently shared directly or indirectly in his gains. The morality of the Bhamtas is according to tradition very low. The Rohillas as the people call them, the term probably including Afghans and Baluchis, do not now visit the District so much as formerly. Their method was to sell cloths and other articles at exorbitant prices and tempt people by giving them a year's credit; if at the end of that time the money was not paid they extorted it from their debtors by threats and violence. They also made small cash loans at enormous interest. A number of Rajputs and others from Northern India are employed by landowners and moneylenders in the capacity of bullies or duns to collect debts and payments of rent.

Hemp matting is woven at Kamptee, Nagpur, and at Gauri in Ramtek tahsil by Bhamtas, who also make net bags for holding cotton in the busy season. Ropes made of san-hemp (flax) and thick screens (tarats) are also made by Bhamtas at Nagpur and Makardhokra. flax is principally grown by the caste of Bhamtas who also weave ropes and gunny-bags from the fibre. Tenants who will not grow hemp themselves frequently sublet their field to a Bhamta so as to get a crop of hemp taken off them. The colony of Bhamtas in Makardhokala, who work up their own produce into rope and sacking, was, Mr. Craddock stated, an extremely prosperous one.

The category "Gypsy languages" is not a linguistic one, nor an accurate one by any criterion that would group them in any meaningful way. There are numbers of quite distinct populations referred to as "Gypsies", such as the Austronesian (Dayak)-speaking "Sea Gypsies", the Irish Travellers and the groups dealt with in Grierson's Gipsy Languages�Volume XI of his Linguistic Survey of India�which includes languages as unrelated as those of the Dravidian (Telugu)-speaking Bhamtas and the Indo-Aryan (Jaipuri)-speaking Pendaris.

Seveml clans of Aryans migmted from lmn under the leadership of lndra who helped the Bhamtas, Yadu. Turvasa. Puru. Marut and Ayu to move eastward and cross Rav, Beas ans Sutlej. Indra leads the clans of Aryas across regions difficult to traverse. Some of these clans seemed to have a mixed origin, possibly through intermarriages with non-aryans i.e the purus, yadu and turvasa, who were accepted into the Aryan society.

The Bhamtas proper have two main divisions, the Chhatri Bhamtas, who are usually immigrants from Gujarat, and those of Maratha country, who are often known as Bhamtas. The former have a dialect which is a mixure of Hindi, Marathi anf Gujarathi, while the latter speak the local form of Marati. The Chatru Bhamtas have Northern customs, and the Bhamtis those of Maratha country The sections of the Chhatri Bhamtas are named after Rajput septs as Badgujar, Chauhan, Gahlot, Bhatti, Kachhwaha and others They may be partly of Rajput descent.

Bhamtas practice both infant and adult marriages. Polygamy is permitted and in theory there is no limit to the number of wives. No change of religion is reported among the Bhamtas but Russell and Hiralal have remarked that in the Central Provinces the Bhamtas said that they did not admit outsiders into the caste. Bhamtas worship Mari Ayi. In Tamilnadu, Muthurajas worship the same Goddess in the name of Mariamma. Previous to the wedding, goats and fowls are killed as sacrifice to the dieties Mari Ai and Tuljhapur Bhawani.

Aayi = Ayi = Ai = Amma = Mother
Mari Ai = Mariamma = Mother Mari

Some Rajput Surnames are uncommon like: Gawalpanchi, Gujar, Katnaas, Khinchi (Bhamta Rajput), Kupawat, Rawat, Chhadi, Kalchuriya, Katouch, Sarniha, Bachhil, Jaiwar, Sugada, Sankla, Solanke, Songar, Sambhariya, Bhurecha, Bhopale, Devra, Jaitawat, Bachgoti, Dogra etc. The Kalabhras ( Ancestors of Mudirajas - Muthurajas ) of South India are said to be either Kalchuriyas or a variant of Kalachuriyas (Kalchuris).

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 23/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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The Banjaras are nomadic people who travel with bullock carts or oxen-laden caravan from place to place and continue their travelling wherever their caravans were in demand. In the past, there were usually bullock-caravans in thousands or lakhs. Since they performed a very important role, armies rarely troubled them. Now, the modern means of transport have robbed them of their livelihood and they have now settled into a semi-nomadic existence, doing jobs, entertaining, and farming. The people engaged in the trade of salt (Lavan) thus came to be known as Lamani. This caste is known as Lambada or Lambadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. They were salt transporters and traders. They were somewhat similar to nomadic Erukalas in their profession.

Large number of Lambadas live in tandas that dot the Konchavaram reserved forests on either side of the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border. They are steeped in poverty and the practice of abandoning or giving up their female babies is common among them. Agricultural work being seasonal, the rate of unemployment is high among the Lambadas. The majority of them being unlettered, impoverished and burdened with huge families, Lambadas consider female children to be dispensable. They speak Lamani and Telugu. The Lambadas, who speak Gorboli, a mixture of Hindi, Rajasthani and Gujarati, originally migrated to the Konchavaram forests from Rajasthan.

Lavan = Salt
Lavan => Laman => Laban =>.Loban => Lobani
Lavan => Laban => Lamban => Lambadan
Lambadan => Lambada => Lambadi

Among tribes, koyas, lambadas constitute sizable population inKhammam District. They are called by different names like Lambadas, Sugalies, Banjaras. They dress in colourful clothes, which are studded with mirrors, beads and other decorative items. Men wear head turbans and they sport thick moustache. The men also tattoo their bodies, apart from wearing a variety of bracelets. The Lambadis of Andhra Pradesh wear these graded bone bangles only upto their elbows.

The British, in their typical fashion, branded the whole community of Vanjaris as "Criminal tribes" and hence were always at the receiving end of the law. Even after independence the classification continued for sometime.

Banjara is a community in India spread in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. They are also spread in other states of India. Locally they are known by different names such as Banjara, Lambadi, Sugali, Ghor etc. They live in settlements called Tandas. They have a unique culture and dance form. The traditional food of Lambadis is Bati which is Roti. Their customs, language and dress indicate they originated from Rajasthan. Their traditional occupation is agriculture and trade. The accurate history of Lambanis or Lambadis or Banjaras is not known but the general opinion among them is that they fought for Prithivi Raj against Mohammad Ghazni. The trail of the Lambadi/Banjara can be verified from their language, Lambadi borrows words from Rajasthani, Gujarathi, Marathi and the local language of the area they belong to.

The Lambanis (a.k.a. Lambadis, Romanis) are the nomadic tribes of India. They go from place to place in search of a livelihood. They have their own language, culture and a unique social structure. It is fairly well accepted that the Gypsies found today all over eastern Europe and the Balkans actually migrated from India centuries ago. The Lambanis mostly lead a poor, uneducated, and yet a very colorful life. They are generally considered Aryan gypsy tribes. But there seems to be mixed blood people having Pardhi Rajput surnames too. Among Lambaris or Vanjaris, we can come across Pawars, Chavans, etc belongingto Bhil Pardhi tribes.

Lambanis are believed to be the descendants of the original Aryan Gypsies of the North West India (Rajasthan) and are called by several names like: Lamani, Lambada, Banjara, Banhara, Banjari, Wanjari, Brinjari, Labhani, Labani, Sukali, Sagali etc. The term, 'Lavani' is derived from the word, 'Lavan' meaning salt, as they were the chief carriers of salt before the opening of ports, roads and railways'�. Their main occupation was to act as grain-carriers and suppliers to the armies in the field. They also traded with the general population in grain, salt, coconut, spices, cotton and woolen clothes during peace time. They are reported to have entered South India in 1317 AD in order to supply food grains to Moughul and British army. They were basically nomadic traders. With the opening of ports and railways, their nomadic travels reduced and settled life began. Being poor, illiterate and unskilled, they were compelled to resort to criminal activities - stealing cattle, kidnapping women and children.

The original occupation of the Banjaras was to convey for sale articles for trade such as wheat, salt, rice, red ochre, etc., from one place to another on pack bullocks. When there were no railways, trade was monopolised by them. They have now settled down to ordinary labour and private service.

The Banias and Balijas have their origins in the Indian gypsy Banjaras. The Balija people who once part of a section of Mudiraju Bantlu were known to descend these Banjaras who were basically traders and transporters. They are also known as Banijiga and Balijiga in Karnataka state and they were once a rich jain community. Jainism was supported by Muttarasa ( Mudiraj ) kings. The Banjaras of Saharanpur set up a king of their own.

Banajara the caravan men are found all over the districts of Maharashtra. They say they came from Bombay and Karnataka when and why they do not know. In south of the district of Akola (Balapur) are Vanjaries and Banjaras, the two are absolutely distinct. The Vanjari hold Patilki of sixteen villages in the north of Wasim taluka, all bearing a kind of allegiance to a "Naik" or the Patil of Rajpura. In former days, considerable trade between Noth India and the seaboard passed through the district of Ahmednagar. The carriers were a class of Vanjaras called as Lamans, owners of herds of bullocks, but since the opening of the two lines of the Great Indian Peninsula Railways the course of traffic has changed. The trade is almost entirely carried on by means of permanent market. Lamans or Vanjaries, pass through the district of Ratnagiri (Sawantwadi), along the trade routes between the coast and the Deccan. Carriers of grain and salt on pack-bullocks, they generally pass rains in Deccan and after the early harvest is over, come to the coast. They generally make two trips each fair season. Formerly they were a very large class, but since the opening of the hill-passes fit for the carts, the demand for their services has in great part ceased.

Banjara => Bant(z)ara => Bantara
Bantara => Bant => Bunt

Bantu => Bantus => Bantlu

Banjara => Banijara => Banija => Bania
Banjara => Banijara => Banija => Balija
Banija = Banijiga => Balijiga => Balija

Among the less settled tribes, Vanjaris, though as a class mild and orderly, are, from their wandering habits and occasional fondness for cattle-stealing and gang robbery, to a small extent under special police surveillance. When they move their caravan's, tandas, they have to get a police pass stating the name of their leader, the place they come from, their number, their business, and the number of their cattle and weapons. The Kallars, a subsect of Tamil Muthuraja community were also known as cattle lifters. We can see in Criminal Tribes Act Notification list that Banjaras are one of the communities with many other communities, which have been listed as Criminal Tribe. The other such tribes in North India are Sansis, Pardhis, Kanjars, Gujjars, Bawarias and almost 200 such communities.

Banajara the caravan men are found all over the districts of Maharashtra. They say they came from Bombay and Karnataka when and why they do not know. In south of the district of Akola (Balapur) are Vanjaries and Banjaras, the two are absolutely distinct. The Vanjari hold Patilki of sixteen villages in the north of Wasim taluka, all bearing a kind of allegiance to a "Naik" or the Patil of Rajpura. In former days, considerable trade between Noth India and the seaboard passed through the district of Ahmednagar. The carriers were a class of Vanjaras called as Lamans, owners of herds of bullocks, but since the opening of the two lines of the Great Indian Peninsula Railways the course of traffic has changed. The trade is almost entirely carried on by means of permanent market. Lamans or Vanjaries, pass through the district of Ratnagiri (Sawantwadi), along the trade routes between the coast and the Deccan. Carriers of grain and salt on pack-bullocks, they generally pass rains in Deccan and after the early harvest is over, come to the coast. They generally make two trips each fair season. Formerly they were a very large class, but since the opening of the hill-passes fit for the carts, the demand for their services has in great part ceased.

The Banjaras of Berar are the same people as the Lambadis of the Madras Presidency and the Manaris mentioned by Tavernier. They are supposed to be the people mentioned by Arrian in the fourth century B. C. as leading a wandering life, dwelling in tents, and letting out for hire their beasts of burden. Their home seems originally to have been the long tract of country under the northern hills from Gorakhpur to Hardvar. In Berar as in the Punjab the Banjaras are often, if not generally, known as Labhanas.

There are in all six divisions, four Hindu and two Musalman. The highest in rank of the Hindu Banjaras are the Mathurias, who claim to be Brahmans and wear the sacred thread. The Labhanas or salt-carriers evidently came from fup ther north than other Hindu Banjaras. Their claim to be descended from Gaud Brahmans, when coupled with the details of their serpent worship as described by Tavernier, suggests that they are possibly connected with the Gaud Taga tribe. They are considered socially superior to the Charans. Like the Mathurias their women wear sadis, while Charan women wear lahengas. They wear the sacred thread. The Charans are said to be of Rajput origin.

David Mayall in his Gypsy Travellers in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge 1988) has pointed out, they were also romanticised in imagination and valued for some of the services and skills they provided. We find the same sort of ambiguity in colonial fiction and poetry with regard to Indian banjaras and others, who were feared and shunned as ferocious criminals and yet eulogised for their supposedly healthy outdoor life and independent spirit. Some of the stylised pictorial representations are eloquent evidence of this. Myth-making of this kind only underlines the discomforting suspicion with which such people are viewed, and how it served to legitimate the way they were treated.

ON September 19, 22 houses and shops in the Banjara basti were set on fire by powerful residents of Achler village in Latur district. They were angry that a Banjara zilla parishad member, Shankar Pawar, had been elected president of the local school board. Banjaras constitute another community that was denotified. Although traditionally a nomadic community, the Banjaras in Achler have been living in the village for decades. The upper castes cannot swallow the fact that a small man has gone forward. They want to retain power. The ordinary people have to bear the brunt of their politics.

there are millions of tribal Sikhs, like Vanjaras, Sikligars, Lobanas, Tharus, etc, known as Nanakpanthis who are living in abject poverty and utter neglect in several States of India, notably Madhya Pradesh, UP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, etc. They adopted Sikh faith during Guru Nanak's udasi in those areas. The Vanjaras were traders by profession and moved in caravans carrying their wares from place to place. The Lobanas were their armed guards who moved with them. The Sikligars manufactured arms such as swords, spears, arrows, etc. for them. They took part in the battles of Guru Hargobind. Makham Shah Lobana and Lakhi Shah Lobana are legendary names in Sikh history. These tribes took part in a big way in Guru Gobind Singh's battles. There were 39 martyrs in the family of Shahid Bhai Mani Singh alone whose ancestors were Pawar Rajput by caste and Vanjaras by profession. Included among these martyrs were Bhai Sahib's eleven brothers, eight sons and nine grandsons.

Another centre, "Guru Nanak Vanjaras, Sikligars and Backward Classes Sewa Mission" has been established near Nagpur on the Bombay-Nagpur highway by some pioneer dedicated workers. The ashram has 30 rooms. They have trained 500 volunteers in Gurbani, Kirtan and Parchar. They have also constructed some Gurudwaras. Pawars are basically from Pardhi tribe. At Atarsi and Abdullaganj some of the Vanjaras have taken Amrit and built Gurudwaras.

The roots of Sikligars and Vanjaras go to Dhaj-Kodhaj � Karan � Kaishab. It is further divided into Chada and Thida. Chadas include Mota (Lubanas) and Maula (Vanjaras). All of these tribes associated themselves with Rahaurs, Parmars and Chauhans. The warriors of these tribes played an important role in Sikh struggle and paid with their lives.

During Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time they started making guns and rifles also. These rifles were famous with the names of Toredar, Ktli, Pata, Churidar and Sada. These were manufactured on a large scale in the workshops of Lahore. The British period hit them very hard. Ban was ordered against their weapon manufacture and they were declared a criminal tribe. For sustenance, they started roaming on carts and started making small household implements, These did not earn them even their lively hood.

According to the research done by Dr. Harbhajan Singh of Punjabi University, Patiala, the Vanjara have 20,000 /tandas (Settlement) in India. Their population is 5 crores spread in 22 states of India but mainly in Madhya Pardesh (47 Lacs), maharashrta (62 Lacs), Andhra Pardesh (71 lacs), Karnataka (67 lacs), Uttar Pardesh (58 lacs, Orissa (33 lacs, Bihar (35 lacs) and Rajasthan (32 lacs. They name their settlement suffixing Tanda to the city, town or village where they settle. The leader of the Tanda is called Nayak. They trace their origin to the Rathors, chauhans, Pawars and Tadavs and also call themselves Rajputs. Due to their large numbers in Maharashtra V.P. Nayak and Sudhakar Rao Nayak became chief ministers of the state. Though they did not announce themselves Sikhs but they brought in certain improvements in Tandas, Vanjaras were the leading transporters during Mughal period. They moved from Qabul to Agra, Agra to Patan, Hyderbad and Ahmedabad supplying cart loads of weapons and food to the troops. Size of their convoy consisted of large numbers of carts. Bhagwan Dass Nayak's caravan had 52, 000 oxen. Peter Mundi (1632) had recorded in travelogue, "Vanjaras were moving in a caravan of 14,000 Oxen."

Many Bhils and Vanjaris, including Lamans who are more or less given to thieving, live in wild and thinly peopled parts of the district. In Akola, Kolis are found in great numbers, and in the western sub-divisions the number of Ramoshis is so, great that there is hardly a village which does not contain some of them. Besides the resident criminal tribes of the district, there are several wild wandering tribes who halt in the district for short periods. Vanjaris are mostly found in rural Maharashtra, though some more fortunate members are found in the cities and towns. Lad Vanjaris and Lamani Vanjaris are two sub-castes found among them. Lad Vanjaris have adopted agriculture as their main occupation, while the Lamani Vanjaris are still nomads. The British, in their typical fashion, branded the whole community as "Criminal tribes" and hence were always at the receiving end of the law.

Vanjaras : The only tribes which can be called Gypsies are the Vanjara, the Lamani, the Chhara and the Luri.... The Vanjara live in the neighbourhood of Bombay, in the Gudjerat, the Maharashtra and Hyderabad. They are beggars and makers of trumpery objects; they live a nomad existence in groups, and use donkeys but not wagons. They sleep in tents. They may engage in magical medicine, but they are neither smiths nor mountebanks. The Lamani are a very handsome people with comparatively fair skins, and tattooed. Their women wear long dresses, heavy bracelets and little bells attached to their ankles. The people thereabouts believe that they come from Iran, and accuse them of kidnapping children.

Numerically the Vanjara tribe is the most important, spread all over South India. Vanjaras are among those Sikhs who irrigated with the blood of whole of their families, the plant of Sikhism. Guru Nanak came in contact with numerous Vanjaras during the udasis. He composed rhymes addressing Vanjaras. Janamsakhis record Bhai Mansukh as the first Vanjara Sikh who got associated with the Gurughar and inspired the emperor Shivanbh of Sri Lanka to embrace sikhism and thus helped spread Sikhism outside the boundaries of India.

The nomadic wanderers, Vanjaras tribe of Rajput origin came into the Sikh fold quite early during travels of Guru Nanak Dev. For their livelihood, the Vanjaras had been trading in all types of human consumables along with weaponries for rulers of the time by traveling in big caravans from one corner of the country to another. The Sikligars among the Vanjaras were excellent iron smiths capable of manufacturing all types of weapons. Few of their families from Marwad first came into contact with Guru Hargobind for the first time (1595-1644), when they offered services for weapon manufacturing and recruitment as Sikh soldiers. The Vanjaras still consider Sri Hazoor Sahib as their highest place of worship.

The imposition of the "Criminal Tribes Act, 1871", classified the Vanjaras/Sikligars as criminals. The demonization of their sect compelled them to make a mass migration into jungles in most backward tribal belts to save their lives. Act was repealed by the National Government in 1952, and the Vanjaras were de-notified as a "non-criminal", nomadic tribe.

The Wanjaris, or Banjaris, are the great grain and salt carriers throughout India, from Tibet to Cape Comorin. They claim to Rajput descent and constitute one of those remarkable aboriginal races, which in the progress of Hindu conquests, betook themselves to a wandering life, thus to avoid tyranical yoke of of their conquerors.

The Wanjaris are famous for their dogs, of which there are three breeds, of which there are three breeds. They are credited with great effection for their dogs. Similarly, there is a kaikadi breed cof dog which is named after Kaikadi Erukalas who founded Kakatiya kingdom. These banjaras and erukalas are once part bhil hunting community.

Sugalis : Some Narikuravas tell us that they are the distant cousins of Lambardis (Lambadis). Lambardis are believed to be originally a North Eastern tribe of long distance carriers who by 18th century transported grain and other goods by billocks all over India, as well as providing cattle, grain and manpower to various armis.

The present paper deals with the Sugalis (also called Banjaras), one of the largest and advanced tribes of Andhra Pradesh, inhabiting the Erramalias range of Eastern Ghats of Kurnool district of Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. The historical evidence reveals that the Sugali's associated themselves with the forests for many a century. Their culture originated, developed and even today largely flourishes in the lap of nature, as ecological conditions play a pivotal role in their life-styles.

The Sugalis are not the autochthons of South India. Their original home is believed to be Marwar in Rajasthan. They came into the Deccan (South India) as transporters of supplies or merchandise for the armies of Delhi emperors in their raids in the South early in the 17th century. At that time, they were unsettled nomads and often resorted to robbery. Some of the Sugalis returned to the North but some stayed behind and carried on petty trade with their pack-bullocks. They became a useful medium of transaction between the South and the North during periods of peace until 1850s. In the 18th century they had also taken up service under the Maratha rulers of Satara, the Peshwas of Poona, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the British in their Mysore and Maratha wars.

With the advent of the British rule, the Sugalis gave up much of their traditional occupation of transporting goods due to introduction of mechanized transport, laying of roads and rail lines by the then Government. Hence, they turned to the forests for their livelihood by cutting wood and collecting other forest produce. But this avocation could not provide enough to live by as much of the forest in the country was cut down to provide wood for industry and rail-laying. Being poor, illiterate (Campbell: 1883) and lacking technical skills, they degenerated and took to crimes like robbery, dacoity, cattle- 1ifting and kidnapping of children until the middle of the last century. To reform them through persuasion and education was considered impossible by the British administration. Therefore, in order to control their criminal activities, they were brought under the ambit of the Criminal Tribes Act XXVII of 1871.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 24/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India.

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The Pallavas are believed to be identical with the Kurumbas, of whom the Kurumbar of the Tamil country and the Kurubas of the Kanarese districts and of the Mysore State may be taken as the living representatives. The kings of the Vijayanagara dynasty are also supposed to have been Kurubas. According to this school, the Pallavas were a northern tribe of Parthian origin constituting a clan of the nomads having come to India from Persia. Unable to settle down in northern India they continued their movements southward until they reached Kanchipuram. Parthians seems to be the Pardhis of North India, who are related to Kakatiya Erukalas. The Pardhis and Kuruvas are also one and the same people.

Kurumba => Kuruba
Kurumba => Kuruma => Kurmi
Kurumba => Kuruba => Kuruva

Kurubas or Kurumas are Hindus concentrated mainly in the southern states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, India. They are also known as Dhangars in Maharashtra, Kurumba / Kurumans / Kurumbar in Tamilnadu, Gaddi, Bharwad, Gadaria, Nikher, Pal, Baghel in North India, Bakarwal in Jammu & Kashmir and Oraon in Eastern India. The Gollars, Kurubas and Lambadas are herders in South India.

Kurubars or Kurumbars, primitive tribe. The shepherd caste is found throughout the great part of Deccan in detached communities, called Kurumbars, Kurubars, and Dhangars, in different parts of India. They are non-Aryan races.

KURUMBAS and Kurubas, aboriginal tribes of southern India, by some thought to be of distinct races. There are two types of Kurumbas, those who live on the Nilgiri plateau, speak the Kurumba dialect and are mere savages; and those who live in the plains, speak Kanarese and are civilized. The former are a small people, with wild matted hair and scanty beard, sickly-looking, pot-bellied, large-mouthed, with projecting jaws, prominent teeth and thick lips. Their villages are called mottas, groups of four or five huts, built in mountain glens or forests.

The Kurubas inhabiting the forests of the Karnataka and Coorg districts have Negroid features. They are primitive in every respect. They are gatherers of food, hunters, and nomads. They practice agriculture as a subsidiary occupation. They have no use for fodder, for they have no cattle. In the past, the Jenu Kurubas were mostly dependent upon shifting cultivation and collection of honey etc. But now most of them have given up their traditional occupation and they earn their livelihood by working in forests on daily wages. The Bewttada Kurubas have been more successful in implementing government schemes. Their economic position has also considerably improved.

In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, again, the dry central plateau was covered with stone and grass, inhabited by cattle, goat and sheep herders. The Gollas herded cattle. The Kurumas and Kurubas reared sheep and goats and sold woven blankets. They lived near the woods, cultivated small patches of land, engaged in a variety of petty trades and took care of their herds.

Kurumbas => Kurumas => Kurumis => Kurmis
Kurumbas => Kurubas = Kurubars

The kurubas are the indigenous people living in the forests of Nagarhole and Kakanakote in Karnataka. Forcible eviction of the kurubas started in the early seventies. They were driven out of their ancestral lands and forced to live on the roadside or on the periphery of the plantations. The displacement has meant a struggle with a new way of life, displacement that has made them trespassers in their own land.

The word Kuruba means "shepherd" in Kannada, and Kadu is forest. Kadukuruba-forest shepherd is a misnomer. They do not raise sheep. Instead these tribals collect honey (jenu) and some who are identified as Betta-Kurubas produce household items like baskets and sieves. Ethnically Jenu Kurubas and Betta Kurubas (Betta = hill) are the same. Honey collection is seasonal and the inter-action of Jenu Kurubas with traders took place occasionally. Betta Kurubas had better contacts because bamboo goods could be woven in and out of season and could be sold throughout the year. They are also elephant trainers. The Kalabhras (Kalvars ) are also known to the elephant tamers. KADU is one of the surnames among Telugu Mudiraj.

Kurubars are shepherds and traditional blanket weavers. Sir Walter Elliott tells us (in his paper "On the Characteristics of the Population of Central and Southern India," published in the Journal of the Ethnological Society of London, vol. I., p. 107) that the Kurubars and Santals, barbarous hill-tribes of Central India, are noted for veracity. It is a common saying that "a Kurubar always speaks the truth;" and Major Jervis says, "the Santals are the most truthful men I ever met with.

In the Kanarese districts, as in other parts of the Presidency, the most dreaded ghost is again the ghost of the unmarried dead. They are called Virikas and are as widely feared in Telugu as in Kanarese countries (Sir W. Elliot in Journal Ethnological Society, I.116). The Kurubars or shepherds, one of the chief Kanarese tribes, make yearly offerings of molasses red cloth and rice to please the Virikas. If no offerings are made the Virikas grow angry, send sickness and bad dreams, and strike people on the back when they walk at night.

Kurubas are Hindus who follow Halumatha. Halumatha is also referred to as palamatha in some parts of India. Religion of the Palakas. Worshiping Almighty Source in stone (Linga) form might have originated from Halumatha. Stone is the source for the soil. Soil is the source for the plants. Plants are the source for the animals. This may be the reason for worshiping Almighty in Stone.

Generally priests in Beeralingeshwara and Milaralingeshwara temples are kurubas. Kurubas were great warriors and had established many ancient kingdoms such as the Hoysala kingdom in Karnataka and Pallava kingdom in present day Tamil Nadu; they reached their zenith of prosperity.

Most prominent Kurubas have been Hakkaraya and Bukkaraya, founders of Vijayanagara Empire, Hoysalas, Pallavas, Holkars, Sangolli Rayanna, Mauryas, Yadavas etc. Kurubas have also few social thinkers and poets. Great poets like Kalidasa, Kanakadasa are Kurubas.

kurumbas :People identified as Kurumbas have been reported across a wide area in south India. Major settlements, however, are found in the Nilgiri area. The ethnic group commonly recognised as Kurumbas had close association especially with the Badagas and Todas. Known as 'Kurumba' in Badaga and 'Kurb' in Toda, the designation simply means "a jungle-dweller". They used to be more or less mediators between Badagas and the super-natural aspects of their immediate environments. Thus the magico-ritual role of the Kurumbas and their function as sorcerers were dreaded as well as accommodated. The Kurumbas lived in the lower reaches of the Nilgiri hills in mountain clefts, glens and forests. The chief sub-division of the Kurumbas of the Nilgiris are, Mul (thorn), Betta (hill), Urali (village), Jen (honey) and Tac' chanadan (carpenter). The Nilgiri groups are seven in number: the Alu-(milk), Palu-(milk), Betta-(hill), Jenu-(honey), Mulla- (net), and Urali-(village) Kurumbas, as well as the Mudugas (no etymology). In Telugu Paalu means milk, Ooru means village.

Ooru => Uru = Urali = Village
Mullu = Thorn
Mannu = Earth = Soil
Paalu => Palu = Milk

Cholanaikans, Kurumbas, Kattunaikans, Kadars and Koragas are the 5 primitive tribe groups in Kerala. One of the five ancient tribes of the Nilgiris (Todas, Kothas, Kurumbas, Irulas and Badagas), the Kurumbas were (and are) closest in being in tune with the beauties as well as rigors of nature. There are several sects of them; the names of all those groups speak of their intimate connections with nature � our reason for the choice of the name of the Resort. According to the author of Cultures and Tribes of South India, the different sects of Kurumbas are offshoots of the original Kadu Kurumbas (Kadu = Forest). There are others such as Betta (mountain) Kurumbas, Ane (elephant) Kurumbas, Bevina (neem) Kurumbas, Jenu (honey) Kurumbas, Mullu (thorn) Kurumbas and Mannu (earth) Kurumbas. They used to exist only with what they found in the forest such as roots of wild yams, honey and, perhaps, a few animals they hunted. Kurumba is the Tamilised name of either Kuruma or Kuruba in the native tongue. The Kurumba faith spoke of all beings turning 'devas' after their death; the kind ones became creative 'devas' and the others became destructive devas.

There the Kurumbas occupy the thickly forested slopes, glens, and foothills of the Nilgiri Plateau. Traditionally the Kurumbas have subsisted as hunters and gatherers. Living in jungles on the steep edges of the Plateau, they practice shifting cultivation and the foraging and trapping of small birds and animals. Early settlements were usually isolated, with Kurumbas living in caves or rock shelters, in dwellings near forest clearings, or in houses or huts in small hamlets interspersed with garden patches. Bananas, mangoes, jackfruit, maize, and chilies were the usual garden produce. Today, with increasing population and deforestation, the Kurumbas have been forced to lower elevations of the plateau and subsist primarily by working on tea or coffee plantations.

Kurumbas are the aboriginal tribes of South India and occupies areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and Palakkad District in Kerala. They speak a distinct language, similar in many ways to Mudugar but is very different from Irula. The word 'Kurumba' is derived from the occupation of tending kuru (sheep) and from the Tamil word kurumbo (mischief). It is believed that in the ancient times they were possibly arrogant and mischievous. It is believed by some that they are the modern representatives of the ancient Pallavas, who once dominated the South of India. The Kurumbas and Mulla Kurumbas are hunter-gatherers also noted for their basketry. The Kattunayakan, another hunting tribe, are collectors of wild honey and wax.

The Kurumbas used to be foragers and food-gatherers. They used to collect plantains and other fruits, gather of honey, resin and medical herbs. The Kurumbas have wedge - shaped faces, flat noses, hollow cheeks with prominent cheekbones, slightly pointed chins, moderately large eyes and dark complexion. The men seldom have any covering except the Langoti, some of the women wear only a waist cloth, and other wear a square cloth which reaches from under the arms to the knees. The women are fond of ornaments. The dead are usually buried in a sitting posture, but the very old are cremated. The parents arrange marriage and widows are permitted to remarry.

The Kurichya and Kurumba revolt of 1812 was truly a national movement because it accomplished the spirit of nationalism and patriotism in the minds of its natives through generations. The spark of freedom, which was ignited by Raja, remained burning amongst the vanavasis, the Kurichyas and Kurumbas of Wyanadu, for more than a decade. The commitments, loyalty and the sense of nationalism that was inherent in the vanavasis were not accounted for properly. Pazhassy Raja is being still deified by the vanavasis (the Kurichiyas and Kurumbas) of Wyanadu.. This is a sufficient testimony to see to what extent the vanavasis and Pazhassy Raja fought for a common cause.

A parallel people are the Kurumbas of the Neilgherry Hills in South India. They are small in stature, their leaf-built houses are almost invisible in the jungles in which they are hidden, and the people themselves are said to be possessed of terrible magical powers, for which they are greatly feared by the neighbouring races. Much of what is written of the Kurumbas by modern investigators might be a description of the fairies, even more so are the stories of them in the traditions of their more civilised neighbours.

Irulas are closely related to Erukalas and also Kurumbas. This reveals the common ancestry of these tribes linking the to bhils & Kolis. The Irulas and Kurumbas have a remote genetic relationship with the tribes. The Mudugas consider themselves as superior to the tribes like Kurumbas and Irulas, though they have marriage relationship with the Kurumbas. There are few instances of inter-tribal marriage relationships with Kurumbas. Only Kurumba girls are married to the Muduga males and no instance of a Kurumba marrying a Muduga girl.

The Irulas have many points in common with the Kurumbas. Like them, they are dwellers of the jungle, and hence they derive their name, which literally signifies 'people of the darkness'. As the primitive progenitors of the Kurumbas are supposed to have been shepherds, so this tribe is probably sprung from a race of hunters, the Bedas. Their means of livelihood are identical with the Kurumbas already described. The Irulas resemble the Kurumbas in way more than one. They, like the Kurumbas live in the lower reach of the Nilgiris in the south and east in villages with detached huts made of split bamboo and thatched. Their villages called 'Mottas' like those of the Kurumbas. The Irula marriage and funeral ceremonies are simple. Marriages are followed by feast and dance, and some Kurumbas are invited.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 25/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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Bhovis of Karnataka are actually a combination of three subgroups. The Kallu Bhovis are the stonecutter caste, the Mannu Bhovis are the earth working caste, and the Uppar Bhovis are the menial laborers. The Bhovis' main language is Telugu, but they can also speak Kannada, Karnataka's main language. They also engage in agriculture, though this is a secondary occupation. Only 21 percent are city-dwellers. To them, it's normal to marry one's uncle or aunt. Families negotiate the marriage of their sons and daughters before it becomes finalized. It's common for a Bhovi man to marry two sisters. The Bhovi peoples have their own patron deities and priests, including Siddha Rameshwara of Sholapur, a great reformer among them.

It is known thar Mudiraju people were engaged in guarding granite quarries during medieval times. The reason could be that these people were known to be the best for soldering and commando jobs. It also appears that the Mudiraju people who had their origins in Bhil- Koli dravidian block of tribes were closely associated in stone cutting, stone grinding and other such jobs. Bhovis are closely related to Mudiraju in connectiong with fishing and granite mining. Pardhis / Parthians who are also variants of bhils too engage themselves in such jobs. The Bhovis are experts in cutting granite rocks and in almost all granite quarries in the state they work as bonded labourers. Bovis or Boyis are closely related to Bedars in their origins. The Telugu Boyas of Andhra, the Tamil Vedans of Tamilnadu, are closely related to Bedars & Ramoshis of Maharastra. The Mogaveeras and bovis are also one and the same people in their origin and belonged to fishing community.

The Bhovi community comes under the Scheduled Castes. As stated earlier they are traditionally stone cutters and they are experts in it. The entire family would be working in the quarry and they live and die in the quarry. Almost all of them are bonded labourers. They are illiterate and do not send their children to schools. The children also work along with their parents in the quarry. Though they are touchables their social and economic conditions to a large extent are equal to untouchables. Some times they move from quarry to quarry in search of work. Bhovis" (stone cutters) are generally considered as nomads.

The construction was probably in the hand of families specialized in the construction of specific structures. Nowadays, some families are still perpetuating the know-how of the construction of underground rainwater harvesting cisterns, in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh or in Diu in Gujarat. "There were caste communities specialised in earth and stone work called wadders and boyis. They undertook the construction of tanks, wells, roads and works where earth and stone was involved. Even today they are the main source of labour for Irrigation and Roads and Buildings Departments"

The Bhois are fishermen. These fishing people seem to belong to the same caste as that of Western Gangas who rules parts of Andhra and Karnataka. They still cleave to their hereditary caste occupations much more closely than is the case with many castes, and are consequently to be found where rivers or tanks supply them with fishing. They belong to the Dravidian family of aboriginal races. Like the Pardhis, the Bhois have forsworn beef.

Although there were more than five crore Bhovis in the country, only two per cent of them were educated. The population of Bhovis in the Karnataka State was around 40 lakhs. There are Two types of Bhovis (a Scheduled Caste in Karnataka) live in the village. Talla Bhovis specialise in rope-making and live mainly in Kodipalli.Mannu Bhovis distinguish themselves by their association with earth work.

The Boyis are Telugus, and are employed as bearers of palanqueens and other domestic service in Southern India. Hence the Anglo-Indian term "Boy" for a servant. Some Bestha immigrants from Mysore have settled in the Pattur taluk, and are also known as Bovis. The word Bovi is a form of the Telugu Boyi (bearer). Palanquins were also available for rent and the same were carried by Bovis from Dakshina Kannada.

During the regime of ancient Kings and chieftains, one of the menial professions was carrying palanquins of royal persons. Fishermen adapted to this job were known as Bovis. Now the members of Bovi sub-community are concentrated in the Ullal to Manjeswar region in the southern part of Karavali. Similarly, in Uttara Kannada, there are Konkani speaking members of Bovi sub-community under Harikantra and Kharvi fisher folks.

In the Udupi area they are also known as Marakalas.To the south of Ullal they are known as Bovis. In the southern Karavali from Brahmavara southward they speak Tulu and in the north they speak Kannada or Konkani towards Karwar.

In Uttara Kannada mostly Kannada or Konkani speaking fisher-folk are known as Harikantra, Kharvi and Bovi. In the interior Karnataka, they are Kannada speaking fisher-folks known variously as Ganga-mathastha, Besta, Ambiga or Koli. In Kerala fishing community is known as Mukkavan. In Andhra fishing communities are known as Agnikula-kshatriya, Vadabalija, Suryavamsi, and Pallekaru etc. Fishing communities living in different areas may not be related owing to geographic and ethnologic separations.

Edgar Thurston describes them as Mogers, the Tulu speaking fishermen of South Canara. Buchanan(1807) reported that 'these fishermen are called Mogeyar and are a caste of Tuluva origin.. The Mogeyar are boatmen, fishermen, porters and palanquin bearers ...some Mogers are� taken to agriculture, oil pressing and playing on musical instruments.' "The ordinary caste title for Mogers is 'Marakaleru'.. in Kundapura taluk, the title 'Naicker' is preferred."

Mogaveeras = Bhovis

Mogaveeras form one of the most important communities that are found in the Mangalore city of Karnataka in the southern part of India.Mogaveeras (also spelt Mogavira) represent the native fishing community of the Karavali Karnataka.

During the composition of Mahabharata, ca.500BC, fisher-folks were conspicuous by their presence. The writer-composer of Mahabharata, Veda-Vyasa was the grandson of Daasha Raja, a fisherman who ferried people across the River Yamuna. (The surname 'Dasa' still exists among some of the Tulu Mogaveera. There is common saying that the major Tulu communities of Karavali-Bunts and Mogaveeras- are the children of sisters of a single family.

Some of the Mogaveera worship centres, contain idols of Vedavyasa and Atharva Muni. It is an historically interesting feature since Vedavyasa, born to Matsyagandhi or Satyavathi, was a product of the fishing community. The exact character of Atharva Muni is not clear, since it is believed that the Atharva Veda was compiled by sage Bhrughu and his clan, with inputs from sages of the Angirasa clan. This may also be suggestive of the migration of Mogaveeras from northwestern India.

In India Boyas were mainly found in South India as Hindu Telugu speaking community as non-orthodox Kshatriyas. Their population concentrated mainly in the Andhra-Orissa region and later in all southern states.Eastern Chalukyan empire's court was essentially a Republic of Badami, and the administrative subdivisions were known as 'Boya-Kottams'. Boya-kottams existed across southern states right from 5th century according to Kakatiya inscriptions. Boya-kottams held assignments of land or revenue in different villages. Chola-Chalukyas used titles 'Udayar' or 'Odeyar' for chieftains at certain periods of time which included Boya Chieftains.

A boyar, also spelled boya ( = Hunter) is the name of a caste. A leader of a group or Head of Territory. Boya is called as Naidu is similar to Kapu (caste). The Boyar community constitute the Non-orthodox Kshatriya or Warrior class of India. They are all believed to have originated from an ancient people called Kirata. The meaning of the word 'Boya' is a 'hill tribe' a mongoloid warrior. Boya to some is of Turkic origin and it is composed of the roots boy("tribe") and ar ("pride/honour") or ari (pure/clean) so is 'boyari. 'Boi' in Bulgarian word is to fight Battle , Boyar could also mean 'Warrior'. Other sources claim it comes from the Russian boyarin.

Bhoyar, Bhoir_ (Honorific titles, Mahajan and Patel).--A cultivating caste- residing principally in the Betul and Chhindwara Districts. The Bhoyars are not found outside the Central Provinces. They claim to be the descendants of a band of Panwar Rajputs, who were defending the town of Dharanagri or Dhar in Central India when it was besieged by Aurangzeb. Their post was on the western part of the wall, but they gave way and fled into the town as the sun was rising, and it shone on their faces. Hence they were called Bhoyar from a word _bhor_ meaning morning, because they were seen running away in the morning. They were put out of caste by the other Rajputs, and fled to the Central Provinces. The name may also be a variant of that of the Bhagore Rajputs. And another derivation is from _bhora_, a simpleton or timid person. Their claim to be immigrants from Central India is borne out by the fact that they still speak a corrupt form of the Malwi dialect of Rajputana, which is called after them Bhoyari, and their Bhats or genealogists come from Malwa. But they have now entirely lost their position as Rajputs.

The Boya warriors migrated from Indus valley after saraswathi river dried up and invaded several mountainous regions in south-eastern peninsula. The original population of Boyas was mixed with various linguistic groups. These Boya warriors served as military regiment and chiefs between 10th century to 15th century in Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala empires.

Boyas or Bedars were none other than Vanaras of Kishkinta kingdom of Ramayana times in South India. These were the vanara warriors who were controlled by Sri Rama in the war against Demon Ravana of Srilanka to rescue Sita. Boya and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Boya consider themselves as descendents of 'Valmiki' a Sanskrit writer.

Ramoshis = Rama Vashis = Controlled by Rama

Totemism in the Madras Presidency In the Madras Presidency the Boyas, a great Telugu- speaking tribe of the Deccan districts, comprises two endogamous sections, namely the forest men (Myasa or Vyadha) and the village men (Uru), of whom former subsist on game and other produce of the woods, while the later have settled down in village and live by fishing and day labour. The tribe subdivided into hundred and one totemic clans or septs, many of which bear the names of plants and animals. The Bois or Boyas, who are a Telugu tribe, besides being the best " bearers " and domestic servants, also resort to fishing in their spare time.

In Europe around 5th century the Boyas migrated from Indus valley only to be found as prisoners of war, or else captive entertainers. Later they were inducted as soldiers. During various wars and raids they migrated into remote regions of the world and carried titles such as 'Boyari' in Turkey, 'Boyash' in Romania, Serbia and 'Boyar' in Russia and Bulgaria. Slowly they became land owners, Feudal lords and Nobles.

Vaddera is a caste name or social group from Andhra Pradesh, India. This caste is also known as VadderaRaju / Odde / Vadde in Andhra Pradesh in India. Vaddera is sub-caste of Boyar caste. It is similar to Boyi and Bhovi in Karnataka state.They are also known as Chitti Karanalu in Godavari Distrcits in A.P. Sources say that Valli amma also belong to same community. Vaali Amma, the wife of Skanda Swamy (Kumar Swamy) is also claimed to belong Vedar / Vetar community. Further Bhakta Kannappa belonged to Vetar subsect of Muthuraja (Mudiraj) community in Tamilnadu. They are also known as Bhovi Vaddera( Boyer ), and Bandollu. Banda means stone and Bandollu means people dealing with stone cutting. A study reveals that there are Vaddi fishermen near Kollera lake area.

The word 'Bhovi' is a corrupt form of 'Bhavi' which means 'well' in Kannada, it also means 'earth-digger'. They have been involved in the digging of wells. There is a confusion of 'Boya' a 'Kshatriya' caste and 'Bovi' a 'shudra' caste mix-up there is no proper evidence in which period this has taken place, but some gotras are common. Many castes in Andhra pradesh have shared common gotras. This may be one of the reason for mix-up in remote regions in different periods. Some sections of Boya, Gangaputra, Agnikula Kshatriya castes consider themselves as part of Mudiraj community in some regions of Andhra Pradesh.

Vaddars or Wadewars are a branch of Odde caste of Madras Presidency. The Oddes or Vaddars of Madras are a very low caste, and some of their customs point to a similar origin of kols, who are excellent diggers and masons. The northern segment of the Telugu Vadugar in Kalinga broke into Oddars or Oriyas. The Oddars are the tank-diggers, well-sinkers, stone-quarriers and earth- workers. Some of the Vadderas mention Bhovi as their subcaste. Bhovis and Boyas are one and the same people who are related to Bhils of North India. There are also some sections of Vadderas who mention Valmiki as their subcaste. Vadderas worship goddess ankamma. Saint Valmiki was a bhil - boya tribesman. The Boya are not supposed to accept food from the Sugali and Vaddi communities.

Vaddars are Stone Cutters and quarry workers. They may be categorised as semi tribals. The adjacent branch of the "Vaddars, the diggers (whose ancestors roved all over the country and dug water-tanks for every UP village), have dissolved by decay, employent being scarce; and the particular group survives by bootlegging, and odd jobs. They live in the most wretched level as do the pardhis. Bowris relating to Pardhis & Kaikadis are diggers of water wells in North India.

Vaddars are stone cutters and sculptors. Originally from Orissaa. During the time of Kelings war, & lot of them massacred by the Emperor Ashoka. Kannambady dam, Vidhana Soudha, Belur Halebeedu temples, Ellora temple, were build by them. Tymur took some of them to Kabul to build palaces there. According to speculation in the Eliot manuscripts that Vaddars � referred to as a. ''numerous and widely spread Caste'' may have been Buddhists in the eleventh century.

The Vaddra community was identified as criminal tribe during British time. After denotifying the community by Independent India, Vadderas were placed under BC A category. Vadderas were recognised as STs in Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat. However, other States were treating Vadderas either as SCs or Bcs. Vadderas constructed roads, projects and canals but they did not own land.

According to the legend, in the time of the Western Chalukyas of Badami in the 11 Century A.D., the Vadderas who carted stones of the construction of the temples at Alampur (also known as Dakshina Kasi in Mahaboobnagar District) used the site on which the city now stands as a halting place before crossing the Tungabhadra and greased their cart-wheels with oil, locally supplied by some of the oil mongers and called the place Kandenametta. This circumstance led to the formation of a small settlement on the spot which subsequently came to be known as Kandenapalli, Kandenolu and Kandenavolu, the city of Kandena or grease. It is also interesting to note that the site which was used as a halting place by the Vadderas in those days is still known as Bandla Metta (Bandla means carts; Metta means headquarters or halting place), a street in the Old Kurnool city.

During the medieval times, the state corresponding roughly with now-a-days Orissa passed under the various names such as: Utkala, Kalinga, and Odra (Udra) Desa. These land names are associated with peoples. The Okkala or Utkala, the Kalinga, and the Odra or Oddaka were mentioned in literature as tribes.

Approximately between the 11th and 16th centuries the name was twisted; the name Odra Desa was gradually transformed into Uddisa, Udisa, or Odisa, which in English became Orissa. The language of Odisa came to be known as Oriya. Ode tribe migrated to gujarat around 12th century for construction of temples in which they are more specialized. People who supplied stone and lime for construction work of temples. People from these region were called as Oddars, Vadderas and Waddars in Andhra, Tamil nadu and Karnataka. The important Deity of Odes is 'Jasma devi'.

Pigs are kept for eating by Vaddars and Kaikadis. Donkeys are kept as pack animals by some Vanis and Kumbhars and also by Vaddars. The Vaddars are considered to be a menial caste. Child labor is common among them.

The stone-cutting Vaddars are the principal criminals, and by going about under the pretence of mending grindstones ( job of Takankars ) they obtain much useful information as to the houses to be looted or parties of travellers to be attacked.

The following Vadderas are under denotified list - (i) Kal Oddars ( Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul,Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam,Tiruvarur, Tiruchirapalli, Karur,Perambalur, Tirunelveli, Toothukudi, Salem and Namakkal Districts), (ii) Nellorepet Oddars ( Vellore and Tiruvannamalai Districts ) and (iii) Oddars ( Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Tiruchirapalli,Karur, Perambalur, Pudukottai, Madurai, Theni and Dindigul Districts )

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date :27/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India.

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Chowda, Chowta & Chowti are all related terms and also related to solankis, who were the founders of Chalukya kingdoms in Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While Chowta surname belongs to Telugu Balija & Tuluva bunts, the Chowti surname belongs to Telugu Mudiraj community. These solankis are also closely related to Pardhis, Kaikadi and other bhil tribes. The warrior clans who established Chowda dynasty in Gujarat and Chowta dynasty in Karnataka were one and the same people and related to Solankis. The word Chalukya seems to be a corrupted form of the word Solankia.

Solanki => Solankiya => Solakiya
Solakiya => Cholakiya => Cholukiya => Chalukiya => Chalukya
Chowda => Chawda => Chavda => Chawra
Chowda => Chowta => Chowti

The Chief of the Chalukyas or Solankis, a Rajput Agnikula clan, conquered the Deccan and built a Kingdom about A.D. 550, and reigned in Vatapi, in the Brjapur District, gloriously and well. In a century the dynasty had grown strong and famous, and exchanged embassies with Khusru II of Persia as shown in a fresco in an Ajanta cave. The Chalukya kingdom in the Deccan and Maharashtra continued to A.D. 1190; just before the Pathan, Muhammad G-hori, seated himself on Delhi throne.

Theere is one Sun Temple built by Raja Bhimdev I of Solanki at Modhera in Gujerat. The remains of an ancient Sun Temple at Modhera draw hundreds of tourists, to this village 30 km south of Patan, near Ahmedabad. Solankis were considered to be Suryavanshis, or descendants of Sun god. The temple was so designed that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at the time equinoxes. The Solanki and Parmar were actually descendants of the Gujjars who came to India from pre-Islamic Persia in large numbers. The tradition of the Bard makes the Solankis important as princes of Surut. Bhansalis claiming to have been formerly Solankis of the solar race.

The Solankis ruled over Gujarat till 1143. Gujarat attained its greatest territorial extent under the Solanki dynasty, from the 9th century. Muhammud of Ghazni attacked Somnath in Gujarat leading to the downfall of the Solankis.The Solankis were patrons of the great seaside temple of Shiva at Somnath Patan in Kathiawar; Bhima Dev helped rebuild the temple after it was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026.

MULRAJ (942-996) Mulraj Solanki overthrew Samantsinh Chavda in 942 and set up what came to be known as the Solanki dynasty. The territory under the sway of the Solankis came to be known by different variations of the words like Gurjardesh, Gurjara-Rastra, Gurjaratra and finally Gujarat. Gujarat got its name from the tribe known as 'Gujjars', which inhabited the region in the 1st century A.D. Gujjars seems to the Scythians who developed matrimonial relations with local dravidian bhil pardhi tribes. The Solanki Rajputs could be the mixed blood bhilalas.

In the tenth century, Solankis established themselves firmly at Anhilwara (Patan). Vanraj, the Chawra king had built this city of Anhilwara in the year 746 AD. The Chawras ruled for 196 years from here. The Solankis took the control of the territory from the last Chawara king Sawant Singh Chowra. Solankis, a powerful clan in North Gujarat, also subjugated the eastern part of Kutch. After the Solankis, Vaghelas in the twelfth century established their sovereignty over Kutch. These powerful clans in their respective reigns influenced the social and cultural composition of Kutch.

These people valiantly fought against Muslims invaders and also British imperialists and proved their love for freedom and country. After the Muslim occupied Sindh, they did not rest quiet, they attacked Punjab, but were repulsed, then they attacked Rajputana, but were repulsed by Kings like Raja Bhoj, and when they attacked Gujarat, they were defeated by the Chalukyas (Solankis) of Anahilwada at the battle of Mount Arbuda (Abu). Thus the Solankis of Gujarat once again lit the bright flame of Hindu valor in Gujarat in repelling a Muslim attack

Many of the most distinguished Rajput clans such as the Chauhans, the Pariharas, the Pawars (Paramaras), the Solankis (Chalukyas) are descended mainly from foreigners, called Scythians by Tod. While others are descended from indigenous tribes of inferior castes elevated to the rank of Kshatriyas. The Rashtrakutas of the Deccan, the Rathors of Rajputana, the Chandels of Bundelkhand are examples of the Rajput clans formed by the promotion of the indigenous tribes of inferior social status. Thus, the huge group of the Rajput clans include people of the most diverse descent.

This presumption receives support from the familiar legend about the fire pit at Mount Abu in southern Rajputana. The legend appears in the Chand Raisa and other works. It groups together four Rajput clans into a brotherhood based on their common origin from a sacrificial fire pit at Mt. Abu. The clans mentioned are the Pawars (Paramaras), the Pariharas (Pratiharas), Chauhans and the Solankis or Chalukyas. They are all mentioned as being "Agnikula" or fire born. The legend shows that the four clans mentioned are all related to one another and that they all arose in southern Rajputana. Now as the Pariharas are undoubtedly of foreign origin their allied tribes are also similarly descended from foreign sources.

Incidentally gujjars are both Hindus and Muslim, and the Muslim gujjars had shown dissent against the British in Ludhiana in Punjab. In the process of rebelling against the British, they were known to have committed several dacoities and robberies of the British garrisons, which might have been the reason for the imperial authorities to classify them under the criminal tribes. It may be seen that both gujjars and the meenas who had belonged to a much higher caste order were relegated into criminal tribes during the British times.

Some Kannadigas think that Solankis Solankis were descended from the Chalukyas of Karnataka who ruled much of peninsular India between the 6th and 12th centuries. It is said that in the 10th century, a local branch of the clan established control over Gujarat and ruled a state centered around the town of Patan. They went into decline in the 13th century and were displaced by the Vaghela.

According to the History of Gujarat, the Dravidian tribes were the original inhabitants of the region. It is believed that much before the Aryan occupation of Gujarat, the land had trade ties with Sumer, the Persian Gulf around about 1000-750 B.C. Rock edicts found from the Girnar hills indicate that in the 3rd century, Gujarat became part of the Mauryan Empire under Emperor Ashoka. It was during this Mauryan reign that Gujarat came under the influence of Buddhism. It is possibly during the ascendancy Buddhism, these dravidian & Rajput warrior tribes moved to South India and occupied green grass fields.

It is now clearly established that the Huns made their permanent settlements mainly in the Punjab and Rajputana. The Gurjaras, the most important of the Hun group of tribes established a powerful dynasty in Kanauj. It has now been definitely proved that Bhoja and other kings of the dynasty belonged to the Pratihara clan of the Gurjara tribe. Hence the famous Pratihara or Paramara clan of Rajputs was certainly descended from the Gurjara stock. The fact that one of the well known Rajput clans is undoubtedly of Gurjara stock raises a strong presumption that the other clans also are the descendants from the Gurjaras or the allied foreign immigrants.

According to this theory, Parsuram, an incarnation of Vishnu, destroyed all the Kshatriyas. However, the Brahmins felt the need of warrior class to defend them. They offered prayers to God at top of Mount Abu. A great Havan was performed for about 40 days. Their prayers brought forth fruit, and from that Agnikund or fire pit, there sprang up four heroes and each one of them created a separate Rajput class. Thus came into existence the Chauhans, the Solankis or Chalukyas, the Parmaars and the Pratiharas. This theory still finds credence among the Rajputs.

The first Rajput kingdoms are attested to in the 6th century, and the Rajputs rose to prominence in the 9th and 10th centuries. The clans that descended from the solar and lunar lineage i.e. 'Suryavanshis' and 'Chandervanshis' rose to prominence first, followed by the four Agnivanshi clans, the Pratiharas (Parihars), Chauhans (Chahamanas), Solankis (Chaulukyas), and Paramaras. The martial Rajputs not only belong to the well-known clans such as the Sisodias, Rathors, Chauhans, Kachawahas, Bhattis, Panwars and Solankis but have-off-shoots known as Musalman Rajputs or 'Musalman Sipahis'. The Bhatti Rajputs who were forced to embrace Islam between 1193 and 1684 were called Sindhi Sipahis and the Chauhans who were subjected to this conversion around 1383 formed the sizeable group called Kaimrhani in the Shekhawati and Nagaur areas.

Famous scholar, K.M.Munshi, a gujjar himself says that the Pratiharas, Paramaras and Solankis in Gujarat were imperial gujjars. During the British rule, they had spread to areas around Meerut, Bulandshar, and present Noida and Greater Noida as well as East Delhi, and it is recorded by the Britishers that during the first war of independence in 1857, the gujjars along with the Muslims proved to be their "most irreconcilable enemies". Incidentally gujjars are both Hindus and Muslim, and the Muslim gujjars had shown dissent against the British in Ludhiana in Punjab. In the process of rebelling against the British, they were known to have committed several dacoities and robberies of the British garrisons, which might have been the reason for the imperial authorities to classify them under the criminal tribes.

The similarity between the gujjars and the meenas ( fishermen relating to gangas ) appear over the way in which the British treated them. Like the Gujjars, British found this community also as a thorn in their flesh, and one British chronicler even called them "revengeful and blood thirsty". And like they did with the gujjars, this community was also denominated as a criminal tribe. It may be seen that both gujjars and the meenas who had belonged to a much higher caste order were relegated into criminal tribes during the British times. The British classified the Gujjars (and around 150 other Indian communities) as "criminal tribe" through the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 30/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India.

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The Kolis, an aboriginal tribe of fishermen, were the earliest known people of India. As a part of Indian caste system, Kolis are an endogamous group of North India. The origin of Kolis is that they are western branch of the kol or Munda tribe who have spread from Chota Nagpur through Mandla and Jubbulpore, Central India. They are Dravidian in origin, and include a larne number of tribes . In western India the Bhils, Kolis, Kanjars, and Minas were increasingly regarded as crimina and were listed under the British Criminal Tribes Act 1871. It is a well known fact that a large section of people in Telugu Mudiraju community are fishermen ( kolis ). The Mudiraj can be lnown as the Kolis in South India. The kolis are a martial tribe.

One of the studies of the Kolis and Bhils of western India reveal not only potential independent bases of power of these groups but also intermittent establishment of independent politics. Mahadev Kolis, a part of the larger community 'Kolis', according to Ghurye "the largest and the most well known of the non-Brahmanic and non-dominant ethnic groups in Deccan". The colonial Gazetteers of Bombay and Hyderabad Presidency bears several reference to Mahadev Kolis along with other segments of Koli population. The Mahadev kolis have a record of militancy

The most troublesome of the tribes was the Bhils / kolees The Kolees all along the eastern border of kathiyawar agency are a very troublesome race. . The tribal social groups like Bhils, Kolis and Ramoshis became dependent labourers while the privileged landowning and trading castes Hindus were treated as high, pure and superior. With their notions of private property and privileging of settled agriculturists, the Britishers gave tangible force to distinctions between ways of life that had not previously been analytically ranked, compared and standardized. It was not merely the census, which enumerated Indians, and fixed caste identities, there were also several policies adopted by British administrators, which dubbed some tribal and caste groups as criminal.

Kolis are a tribe of western konkan region involved in fishing and agriculture and were notified as criminal caste. The Kolis are among the state's largest cultivating castes. The Mahadev Kolis are a Scheduled Tribe of Bombay. S. S. Ul-Hassan in 1920 indicates the presence of the Mahadev Kolis in Hyderabad state, but Ghurye in 1957 reports that despite his sincere effort, he could not find any Mahadev Kolis group there. Most probably, these Mahadev Kolis of Hyderabad might have got merged into Mudiraj community because they belong to the same race and profession. In Maharashtra 'Kolis' in general means fisherman, but it is the Son Kolis who are exclusively fishermen

Ghurye traces the historicity of Mahadev Kolis back to the period of Ramayana by linking Mahadev Kolis of the tradition of Valmiki, the author of the epic Ramayana. This assumption primarily shoots out of the character of antisocial and tainted militancy among Mahadev Kolis. Mahadev Koli sources claim their descent from the first Sanskrit poet Valmiki, who wrote the famous epic Ramayana. It is not difficult to guess the source of such a popular belief, as one finds corroboratory depictions in the historical records. Some of the eighteenth century commentators on the Puranic texts identify Kolis with Nishadas, a forest living community often mentioned in the Puranic sources. One even today notices a strong sentimental attachment of the Kolis and others inhabiting the high peaks of the Sahyadri to the places, which according to them are attached to Rama, or other popular characters of epic Ramayana.

Peshwa Balajirao Bajirao in 1741-42 AD took the possession of the fort of Kurag that was under Kolis. After a decade, (1750-51 AD) he annexed fourteen Mahals- areas under the possession of Mahadev Kolis. Thus, all the Mahadev Koli forts in Prant Surgana fell to Peshwas. The subjugation of the Koli chiefs by Peshwas, according to Ghurye stands as the testimony to the appropriation and correction of aberrant activities of Kolis in the interest of peace.

In the State of Maharashtra, Sivaji's Commander-in-Chief and several of his Generals belonged to this tribe. 'A History of the Marathas' note with pride the bravery of Sivaji's army consisting mainly of Mavalis and Kolis. His General, Tanaji Rao Malusare, who was always referred to by Sivaji as 'My Lion' was a koli. When Tanaji fell fighting for and winning the 'Kodana Fort', Sivaji renamed the fort as 'Sinhghadhh' in his memory.

The Koli constitute a tribe with many branches and two main subdivisions: the Hill Kolis; and the Sea Kolis or Son Kolis. The most popular explanation for the origin of the term "Son" is that turmeric, which is very sacred to Dhandoba, the family god, is son�"golden" or "yellow" in color. The Son Kolis represent the highest group of the many subgroups, and the Dhor Koli are generally considered the lowest.

The Kolis were excellent warriors of great physical endurance and were in the habit of supplementing their resources by stealing from travellers and by raiding the more prosperous peasants of the plains.

After the defeat of the Maratha power in 1818, it was from communities of independent hill chiefs, pastoralists, swidden�farmers, nomad herdsmen and hunters that the early Company state faced its most intractable resistances. Forest people such as the Bhils, Kolis, Ramoshis and Gavlis of western India, or herdsmen such as Gujars and Bhattis of the north had often been able to strike hard bargains with the regional power�holders of the eighteenth century, and the their pacification posed a continuing challenge. Some hill chiefs were offered pensions and allowances providing they refrained from raiding and helped with local policing duties. Later these Hill people, hunters and pastoralists found themselves identified in the Company's emerging classifications of population as 'criminal tribes'.

British tactfully formed a Koli corps under colonel Nuttal and used them to fight against Bhils who were the traditional rivals of the Kolis. The same corps seems to have been employed also in connection with putting down the revolt of 1857. Mahadev Kolis took some time to get over this trauma and opposed the British due to its interference in their territories. This was full of vigour and vindication. Finally, before they could put the British administration into any trouble, in 1914 AD. under the criminal tribes act Mahadev Kolis were notified as a criminal tribe.

When the country was up in arms against the British in the First War of Independence in 1857, Gujarat, then the land of many princely states, was the only place in the country where a true-blue anti-colonial, anti-feudal peoples movement powered by an alliance of Kolis, Bhils, and Muslims, with helping hands from Khastriyas and Patels, was taking shape.

Kolis are to be found in numerous villages all over the north of the Akola District, a settlement of them occasionally forming the bulk of the population and including the patel. In the north-east of Akola taluk twelve very small villages near together are Koli settlements of this sort and are called, as one whole, Barula. The main caste of Kolis is said to include seven subdivisions, Kshatriya, Raj, Pan, Fisherman, Begging, Watandar, and Naik or Nawik Kolis, Most of the Kolis in this District belong to what is called the Kshatriya division, though they are considered Shudras by Hindus in general. The customs of Kolis are in general just the same as those of Kunbis.

According to some people the local Kolis came from the hills, according to others from the Pandharpur direction. Kshatriya Kolis are those who belong to deshmukh, patel, or patwari families, while the raja, royal, subdivision includes the Raja of Jawhar in Bombay Presidency. Pan Kolis are water-carriers and are only found further south; the fishing caste live by the sea and the begging caste near Manmad in Bombay Presidency. Watandars are found in Jalgaon taluk and in Khandesh, doing village service but superior to Mahars. When a festival in honour of Mahadeo is held at Mahableshwar the feast begins by food being set before two Watandar Kolis. Nawik Kolis are boatmen and are chiefly found near Pandharpur. The Kolis of the north-east of Akola taluk worship two pirs who are buried at Gowardha in Akot taluk and Uprai in Daryapur taluk. They go on pilgrimage to these tombs, and the whole affair is minutely regulated.

The Bhils are recognized as the oldest inhabitants of Southern Rajputana and part of Gujarat, and are usually Kolis, who inhabit the adjoining tracts. The origin of Kolis is that they are western branch of the kol or Munda tribe who have spread from Chota Nagpur through Mandla and Jubbulpore, Central India and Rajputana to Gujarat and sea. If this is correct the Kolis would be a Kolarian Tribe.

A serious scholar of the peoples of Gujarat, Alice Clarke, believes that it was easy and rather opportunist to blame the Kolis for criminal activities. Kolis were too simple and were really the victims of the then prevailing social circumstances. Historian David Hardiman too held the same opinion. Whatever the truth, the negative reputation stayed with them for a very long time. The literature of the day described the villain characters in their stories as Kolis, thus scandalising the whole tribe. Even today the stigma has not fully worn off.

Gujarat's largest caste was the Kolis. They had been classified by the British as a 'criminal caste' but claimed that they were kshatriyas and restored to genealogists to provide evidence of their aristocratic lineage. They sought recognition on a par with Rajputs. Some Koli clans had established matrimonial alliances with Rajputs, as those castes practiced hypergamy. In 1947, the Kutch, Kathiawar, Gujarat Kshatriya Sabha was created after years of preparatory work. The word 'Kshatriya' was useful umbrella label to bracket the Rajputs and the Kolis together. Kolis are a sub caste of the Gaddis and scattered in the entire Udhampur district of Jammu & Kashmir.

The Kolis living in parts of Gujarat-Saurashtra are divided into five sub-castes, such as (1) Talpada, (2) Chumvalia, and (3) Ghedia, (4) Valankia and (5) khant. The number of other minor sub castes is very big.Some of the Kolis from South Gujarat call themselves 'Patels' and others introduce themselves as 'Thakors'. According to a reference, the mariners living in the coastal area are basically from the Koli community. The Bhils of the Aravalli hills live with the kolis. The people of this community residing in the ravines of rivers and desert areas have more or less merged with other local communities. Agriculture is one of the main occupations of the Kolis. Some of them work as labourers on daily wages. Their surnames are similar to those of the Rajputs. Many kolis are involved in criminal activities too. Kolis were known for theft, robbery and stealing of crops. They are idle and extravagant by nature. They are frequently lured by easy money instead of hard work or labour. That is why most kolis resorted to criminal acts. They created a sense of terror in north Gujarat once upon a time. The Kolis are robusts built medium in looks and black in complexion.

In the present-day city of Kathmandu, there existed two early villages--Koligrama ("Village of the Kolis," or Yambu in Newari), and Dakshinakoligrama ("South Koli Village," or Yangala in Newari)--that grew up around the valley's main trade route. Gautam Buddha was son of a Koli queen. Kolis are maternal relatives of the Buddha, were then as famous as the Shakyas.The Kolis of present-day Kathmandu and the Vrijis of present-day Hadigaon were known even in the Buddha's time as commercial and political confederations in north India.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date 04/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India.

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The Boyas South India and the Valmikis of North India are one and the same people. Valmikis in Andhra region have tribal lifestyle and culture comparatively to Valmikis of other regions in the state. There is a section of Mudiraj people who claim their subcaste as Valmiki.

Maharishi Valmiki is the ancient author of the Hindu epic Ramayana.Benjamin Walker in "HINDU WORLD" an Encyclopedia Survey of Hinduism believes that Bhagwan Valmik was of the Naga or Pre-Aryan birth. The Nagas were the indigenous population of India. Valmikis believe that they are the descendents of Nagas. The Bunts or Bantus ( Mudiraj ) are naga worshoppers and also believed to be the descendants of Nagas.

From History of Karnataka, it can be seen that the Valmiki people were rulers of some places such as Chitradurga, Surpur, Keladi, etc. In Karnataka the VALMIKI community are also called as Nayaka, Beda, Talavara. All these people are known as valmikis. The Beda(means Hunters), Talavar (means Natives) also use Nayak as the last names. Now Beda and Talavar communities are identified as Nayaks.

"talavara" is a Telugu word in "maha'talavara". "talari" or "talavara" means "grama'dhikari" (head of the village or town). In Tamil, "talaiva'r" means "pedda adhipati" (big boss). This Telugu word was combined with a Sanskrit word "maha'". In Telugu and Kannada the word Talari or Talavara clearly meant a village head-man, and even now such post exists in the village panchayats. Mahatalavara is an equivalent to Mutharacha or Mudiraja.

Maha = Mudi = Great
Talavara = headman = chief = Racha = Raja
Mahatalavara = Mudiraja

The Chitradurga Paleyagar family was of the Beda or Boya. caste and belonged to one of the hill tribes family The Chitradurga Fort, defined by walls of huge granite blocks, rises above the town. A series of three gates leads into the irregular inner zone, strewn with striking granite boulders. There are several small temples here, as well as a number of ceremonial gateways erected by the Bedas. The platforms and pavilions within the compound of the Sampige Siddheshvara Temple mark the spot where the Bedas were crowned. The remains of rubble and mudbuilt granaries and residences, and a large circular well can be seen nearby.

The Bedas are the Bedars and the Bedars are Vedars. While Vedars are a subcaste of Tamil Muthuraja community, these people known as Valmikis are a subcaste of Telugu Mudiraj community today.

Vetans = Vedars = the people of Kannappa Kula.
Beda = Bedar = Vedar = Valmiki

It is well known fact that the Mudiraj people worship Goddess Ankamma. There is one Ankali mutt near Chitradurga. Nestling amongst a group of rugged hills, west of Chitradurga, this mutt is known for its subterranean chambers. Near the Panchalinga cave (Wonder cave) entrance, is an inscription dated 1286 A.D. executed in the reign of the Hoysala King Narasimha III. This stronly proves that these Valmiki Nayakas and Mudiraj are one and the same. This region of Tirupati and Srikalahasti is known to be the home land of Kalabhras ( the ancestors of Muthurajas ) who inveded Chola, Chera, and Pandya kingdoms. These valmikis could be the descendants of kalabhras who are in turn are known as branch of Kalachuris of Central India.

The term Nayaka means leader. The Nayaka community has three sub-castes namely Valmiki, Beda and Talavara. Valmiki claim direct descent from Valmiki, the author of Ramayana. Bedas practice hunting. Talavars function as messengers as well as village watchmen.NAIKADA, NAYAKA Popularly known as Palegar, Beda, Valmiki, Ramoshi Parivara etc., they are concentrated in the Chitradurga, Shimoga, Bellary and Tumkur.

Muttaniraja => Mutturaja

According to vettuva legend, Muttani Raja was a son of one Vijayan, born to him by a jungle girl, with whom he fell in love when hunting, and whose father he slew. Vijayan's father was kannappa nayanar was the eldest of ten brothers, sons of a vedar girl who contracted a gandharva marriage with a descending of yayathi, one of the heroes of the Mahabharata. NO historical evidence has been added to corroborate the migration legends of these castes, but the community of tradition probably points to a community of origin, and the legend of a vettuva Raja still clings to Sankaridrug (Sankaridurga), Salem district, Tamilnadu. Kannappa Nayanar was also known as Bedara Kannapa in Karnataka.

Veta = Hunt
Vetar => Vettuvar => Vettuva = Vettuvan
Vetar => Vedar => Vedara
Vetar => Betar => Bedar => Bedara
Tamil Muthurajas = Telugu Mudirajas = Kodagu Muddurajas = Keladi Valmiki Nayakas = Bedars

Some Marathi records call them Kala Pyada in admiration for their fighting qualities. The use of word "Kala" gives an indication that they could be most probably the kalabhra related warriors of Vengadam (Thirupathi) region. They were known as Thondaimans and this is well known as birth place of Hanuman too. Hanuman could be ancestor of Thondaiman warriors.

For more details about bedar valmiki nayakas, please surname analysis on TALARI in the web page "surnames" and valmikis, & bedars in the web page "war(rior)-tribes" in this web site.

After the Mauryan period, a large part of MP was ruled by Shunga Kanva, Satvahanas and Kshatrapas. During third-fourth Century AD, after the fall of Kushanas, the dynasty of Nagas emerged in the regions of Gwalior, Muraina and Mathura districts. Bharshiva or Nagas were the rulers of Padmavati (Padma Pawaya in Gwalior district). They were the residents of Bundelkhand and from here only they moved towards the Gangetic plains. They performed ten Ashwamedh-Yagna to celebrate their victory over Kushanas. The Nagas of Padmavati has a special relevance in the history of India, due to their successful fight against the Kushanas who were considered the outsiders and foreigners.

The Nagas were dravidians. Naga Nayak, the ruler of the Kolis, puts up a heroic resistance against the Moslems from the great hill of Kondanna (Sinhagad of later times, conquered by the great Tanaji). This once again confims that Valmikis are ngas and a variant of bhil - kolis who failed to claimb up the social ladder and there by they were pushed down to lower status to do unclean jobs.

The govt. Of Andhra Pradesh has no proposals to include 'Valmiki Boya' caste of Telangana and Rayalaseema regions in scheduled tribes. In particular places they are treated either as Scheduled Castes in the name of Valmikis or in the name of Boyas as Scheduled Tribes, but not in the provience of Karnool as a whole. Valmikis are a Scheduled Tribe, but they are superior to Dalits in the caste hierarchy. The Valmikis are a land-holding caste, and several amongst them are wealthy owners of agricultural land irrigated by the Tungabhadra canal in Karnataka.

Valmikis, Boyas tribes in South were primarily. leading a semi-nomadic life with huntings and fruit gathering as their occupations. But even four decades after independence their social and economic life has not improved much. Recognising this fact, the Karnataka Government gave them the status of scheduled tribes.

Balmikis or Valmikis are known with different names in southern parts of India (South India). Usually the Valmiki/Balmiki community are identified as Talwar / Talvar, Nayaka, Bedar & Valmiki. Talwar /Talvar - means those persons who handle the sword. (community people were frontier in war or in military force). Nayaka - means once again leader of gang or troop in war. Bedar is basically that the people from this community were tribes and so are called Bedar.Valmiki - this community follows the teachings of Bhagwan Valimiki Ji, they are just simply called Valmiki.

A large number of people belonging to Talvara, Parivara and Besta communities have been living in some areas of Mysore District, Karnataka. They belong to weaker sections of the society and they have relations with people belonging to Scheduled Tribes. These tribes are synonymous to Nayakas, Naiks and Valmikis.

Valmiki - Talwar Chajdhars of Mysore
Talwars are a subsect of Valmikis. Talari and Talaiyari seems to be a modification of the name Talawar. Talari is one of the surnames of Telugu Mudiraj community today. The article written by Madhukar G Appaji gives us some special information on "Talwars Chajdars".

Talwar Chajdhars
The Talwar Chajdhars are the hereditary village officers and Peace Scouts of the Vijaynagar kingdom. This mighty people are descendents of Emperor Ashoka and were Horsemen engaged in cavalryship, policing and military service to the Mysore and regions rulers. Talwars guarded Forts, Sunkadakattes & Ukkadkattes (Customs and Tax Points) and Village Property.

The Chajdhars of Talakad and Chikkandoddi who later consolidated as Malavalli Cantonment have the Distinction of serving the Vijayanagar Governor at Srirangpattana. Talwars were Vassals (Poleygars) in Hadinaru ( Hadinadu), Aalakere, Sosale, Ummatur, Donne Nayakana Kote.

The explanation of " talwarchajdhar" is a warrior who rode a horse and sported a talwar. The word talwarchajdhar = Cavalry soldier nearly matches with Sardar.

The Talwarchajdhars are having link to Appaji Timmarasu and it is is like this; The peasents of Malavalli, Sosle, Ummattur and Terkanambe sent message to his highness sri Krishnadevaraya about the frequent pillagring of villages by 'Kalla Kakas' ( from Malabar ) in and around these cities .Then the king despatched talwarchajdhar ancestors to go to (post Talwars) those villages for protection. Chajdhars group came in with around 200 Cavalry soldiers and posted them to villages with Hqs at Malavalli. Till dawn of independence talwarchajdhars community members were into horse breeding, soldiering, intelligence etc.

Talwars have served Emperor Tipu Sultan and fought against the British East India Company , with French Training. The British diluted the Talwars Poweress in early 1800s however they realized their Inevitability and Reinstated many of their rights by around 1860s. Talwar Chajdhars of Malavalli are direct descendents (in blood Line) of Vijaynagar Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya.

Contribution By: Madhukar G Appaji , Talwar chajdhar Research,Survey No 91 Mysore Heritage Centre ,Chikhalli , Kudre College , Tnarsipur Rd Mysore Mysore 10 Email :

Valmikis of Andhra Pradesh
Valmikis living in the Agency tracts of Andhra Pradesh are only notified as Scheduled Tribes. They are found in the agency areas of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari districts. They claim that they are descendants of the famous sage Valmiki, the author of Ramayana. The Valmiki tribe is divided into the following Gotrams in order to regulate the marriage institution among them in Visakhapatnam tribal areas. Naga Bowse (snake), Matsya Bowse (fish), Pangi Bowse (kite), killo Bowse (tiger), Vantala Bowse (monkey), Korra Bowse (sun), Bhallu Bowse (bear), Poolu Bowse (flower) and Chelli Bowse (goat). But these clan names are absent in tribal areas of East Godavari district. Valmikis are agriculturists and forest labourers. Some of them became traders and petty moneylenders. They sell the earthen pots also in the shandies. They practice podu cultivation on the slopes of hills.

Chintapalli and Gudem-Kotha Veedhi (G.K.Veedhi) mandals of Chintapalli taluka in Visakhapatnam district is a forest-covered region on the Eastern Ghat bills. The three main tribal Communities living here are the Valmikis, the Bagatas and the Samantas (also known as Kondhs). In Telugu language, Konda means Hill. The Konda Doras could be the Kondhs or Gonds. Natikari Dimsa is a solo dance performed by valmikis on Deepavali in particular and other tribals during other festivals in general in Araku valley of Andhra Pradesh. Valmikis are settled cultivators and petty traders. Most of the traders operating in the area are Valmikis, also known as Konda malas, a community believed to have originated in the lowlands but settled in the hills.

Konda = Hill
Konda => Kondha => Kondh
Kondhs => Gondhs => Gonds

Of the three main tribes, the Valmikis and the Bagatas are supposed to be 'local' tribes, whereas the Samantas are an immigrant tribe who have migrated along the Eastern ghats from Koraput district in Orissa into Visakhpatnam. The Valmikis pursue cultivation and some petty trade, whereas the Bagatas are almost exclusively cultivators.

A few Valmikis, Konda Doras have small business either as main or subsidiary occupation.They also work as paid labourers during off-season. Valmikis more educated and quite a number of them are in government services and many other agencies. Konda Doras claims to be the descendants of Pandavas and they call them- selves as Hindus. The Konda Doras of the area claim themselves as Pandava Kulam ( Pandava Gotram ) and they have been written as a title of the Doras. These Pandavas seems to be the same people of Pandos of Madhya Pradesh & Chattishgarh.

The Valmikis claim their descent from the Sage Valmiki and they are considered as the immigrants. Their ancestors migrated into agency area long ago from the plain area. The Valmikis speak Kupia whereas the Konda Doras have the mother tongue Kubi or Konda Bhasha.

Eastern Ghats are inhabited by numerous tribal groups. Prominent among them in the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh are: Bagathas, Konda Doras, Jatapus, Savaras, Gadabas, Porjas, Khonds and Valmikis. Valmikis are placed at the lowest in the tribal hierarchy. They have a social status equivalent to that of the Dalits of the plains areas. Of late, they could progress astonishingly well in all areas of social and economic life much better than all the other neighboring tribes. Petty trade and Money lending business, which established a sound economic base for them, were to a large extent responsible for their phenomenal progress. With better economic status, they could improve their educational status and eventually started donning political roles. At present, with their emergence as leaders in different areas, they are even competing with the Bagathas, the dominant priestly tribe, in economic and political domains.

In the hills of East Godavari District, specifically in Chodavaram Taluk, Reddis have for several generations lived in symbiosis with members of an untouchable caste known locally as Valmiki, or Konda Mala. Valmikis, although of socially lower status than the Reddis, the Valmikis have succeeded in dominating and, indeed, exploiting the Reddis. Recent changes in the pattern of trade have diminished the possibility of exploitation, but developments in the educational sphere now work in favour of the Valmikis. As many of them have been converted to Christianity, they have had many opportunities to obtain a relatively good education in mission schools, and this is expressed in a high literacy rate. Superior educational qualifications now give Valmikis great advantages in the competition for employment in government service. Many Valmikis have been appointed as teachers and to clerical posts, whereas the number of Reddis in government employ is minimal. Even more important is the success of Valmikis in the political field. Valmikis are now represented in the Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh, holding seats reserved for tribals, while Reddis have so far shown little political ambition.

Valmikis of North India
The Valmikis of Madhya Pradesh, the Bhangis of Gujarat, Pakhis in Andhra and the Sikkaliars of Tamil Nadu are all --. Mehtars or Valmikis are not allowed to draw water or enter the house of God. Some intellectuals of the Valmiki caste are demanding a separate quota within the SC quota for Valmikis and other Ati Dalit (extremely Dalit) castes. In Ujjain, the Valmikis are at the bottom of the caste hierarchy.

The Dalits resorted to conversions as a means to get rid of the stigma imposed by Hinduism especially the caste system. In the religions they embraced they expected to get new status in addition to certain material benefits. But a totally unexpected thing took place with them after their conversion. The upper caste Muslims did not treat them as equals. The Valmikis too did not discard their Hindu customs and traditions, though they adopted Muslim names.

Defeated Valmikis who refused to convert to Islam were forced to become ----in North India
Those communities among the Hindus who are called Bhangi, Mehtar, Chookad, Hela, ---Halaal Khor, etc. are actually descendants of brave Kshatriyas, who, inspite of many atrocities by -- rulers, had refused to accept conversion to Islam.

There are also Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian "Valmikis". Those valmikis who opposed Muslim invaders and migrated to South India established great Hindu kingdoms and continued to resistthe muslim invasionin in South India. Vijayanagar empire is a testimony to this fact and majority rulers were bunts / bants and valmikis were feudal chiefs of this empire. Majority of these valmiki warriors are known by different names and they form subsects of Mudiraj.

Maharshi Valmiki was a Bhil - koli. Many startling confessions we have heard from many Bhil tribes and crime and criminality of their trait now remain a bad dream of the past and today most of their huts have become Ram Durbar, Japa and Simran has taken away their foul languages and transformed behaviour pattern. The feeling of compassion and love is dawning on them. In Jhabua in the tiny hamlets of Bhil tribes many Valmikis are in the making and Ram Naam the time tested celestial sound is working out its wonder silently in the midst of woods away from the hustle bustle of the mad cities.

For Valmikis in India the Ramayana has served to provide a cultural and religious foundation and was the link during colonial rule which labourers took with them when they went from India. Bhagwan Valmik wrote the first version of the Ramayana in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. Astronomical analysis place Bhagwan Valmiks work as pre 3000BC, it's final shape may have been acquired by about 250A.D. He was also the first to codify music.

Balmiki is often the preferred way of spelling Valmiki by people from the state of Punjab in India. Valmikis/Balmikis is the name given to devotees that follow the teachings of Bhagwan Valmiki as portrayed in the Yogavasistha and the Ramayana. Discrimination by Hindus against the Valmiki community is still prevalent in modern day India. Most Valmikis are from the Chura caste, although through their faith they reject the caste system. Valmiki Himself was a Kirata Bhil.Chura is an occupation and is therefore used as a derogatory term to describe the Valmiki community.Valmikis revere VALMIKI as the Avatar of Bhagwan. Maharishi Valmik was believed to be a man of great wisdom, a sage who could visualize the past, the present, and the future as was clearly demonstrated in the Ramayana.

Valmiki is the name of the Dalits and tribes who were populating the lands of Punjab in the old days. Even today the Dalit associations of Punjab are called with the title name Valmiki. They are Dalits in the Maharashtra and the South, Ravidasis in the central and west India and Valmikis in the North-west. Due to the utter imbalance of situation sikhs of low caste had started shedding sikhism. they prefer thmslves to be called as "VALMIKIs" "hindus".

The valmikis are bitterly aware, the social stigma associated with their hereditorily ascribed occupation. Valmikis and Ravidasis together form nearly a quarter of the population of many punjabi villages and they have long been subjected to systematic denigration. The Valmikis have followed their own unique religious and social course, and drawn freely and creatively on both traditions of Sikhism and Hinduism to construct their own distinctive synthesis.

On the day of 31st August, 2005, the town of Aryanagar witnessed burning of 50-60 houses belonging to Valmiki community in broad daylight. As it has been reported in the media a 1,500-2,000 strong of mob of upper caste people mainly belonging to the Jat community attacked their houses in a systematic manner. The perpetrators had come fully armed with spears, batons, axes, petrol and kerosene oils. They broke TV sets, Refrigerators, Washing Machines, looted the valuables and burst LPG cylinders. For that matter Arya nagar is a mixed locality where Gujjars, Jats, Brahmins as well as other castes including Valmikis live in the same area. Ofcourse for a two thousand strong mob it was not difficult to identify the houses of the 'others' - the dalits. It appears that for the rest of the people the pucca houses of the Valmikis adorning that colony were rather an 'eyesore'. How come dalits could 'compete' with the varna people in matters of housing. Will it not affect the edicts of the Manusmriti. And the crowd went on its 'business'. It looted whatever could be looted and then set fire to the remaining items.

The Valmikis are more organised than other Dalit groups. They have their own welfare organisations, and even separate temples, which are, however, open to all. And of late, they have been expressing their resentment quite openly. A Jat youth allegedly molested a Valmiki woman at a religious congregation organised by the community last year. The situation turned ugly and a man from the dominant community, known for his allegedly anti-social activities, was murdered. The Valmikis had started fleeing Gohana soon after the murder of a Jat youth, Baljeet Siwach. There was resentment among the Jats regarding the police action after the murder. Some influential local residents had named seven men as the culprits and there was anger when only four were arrested. But the police were not convinced of the complicity of the others. One of them, Lara, is a popular local leader of the Valmikis. His community looks up to him as a champion of the downtrodden and his father is the president of the Bhagwan Valmiki Sabha, an organisation representing the interests of the community.

Bhangis This powerful Misal of the Sikhs was founded by Bhim Singh of the Jat background. The name "Bhangi" is derived from the members of the confederacy who made use of Bhang, an intoxicating drug manufactured from hemp. Bhim Singh was succeeded by his nephew named Hari Singh belonging to the Dhillon clan of the Jats. Hari Singh's sons, Jhanda Singh and Ganda Singh played an instrumental role in strengthening the Misl. Also, they are credited for constructing the Bhangi fort at Amritsar. The Chuhra caste group clubs together Balmiki, Bhangi and Mazhabi castes.

Jat word derived from Jadhav. Jadhavas and Gaikwads are two subsepts of Kaikadi Erukalas who founded Kakatiya kingdom. Hence, the jats could be the bhil pardhis and hence related to valmikis.

Jadhav => Jathav => Jatav => Jat

The word Bhangi is derived from bhang or hemp, a plant of wild growth found in the jungles of the Punjab, and in abundance along river banks. When pounded in a mortar with a pestle and sifted through a piece of coarse cloth, it leaves behind a thick liquid of gree colour. Its drink is intoxicating and soothes the effect of heat in summer. A particular group of Dal Khalsa liberally indulged in this drink, and profusely entertained others with it. At the time of fighting, it made its lovers furious and reckless. On account of addiction to it, this group of Khalsa came to be called Bhangi. This misal was the largest in its size and area it occupied.

This nom de plume attracted the sweeper class also called Bhangi to join them. They were freely welcomed by this band of the Khalsa among them. Some of them were offered important posts. Although the majority of the soldiers of Bhangi misls were Jats, there were substantially number of converted sikhs from lower hindu castes. Here are the name of some of the pioneer Sardars of Bhangi Misal. Hari Singh Dhillon: aka 'Bhangi' He was the first person to be called Bhangi. He was Bhuma singh's nephew. He was also leader of Taruna dal as well as head of Bhangi Misl.

According to one legend, there were five bawri brothers : kesar Mal, Sabal Singh, Jeet Mal, Nahar Singh, and Hari Singh. These five brothers had come from Rajastan and were camping in the main street of the Chandni Chowk, when the soldiers of Mughal king Aurangjeb killed them. Perhaps the five Bawri ( Bowri = Kaikadi ) brothers from Rajasthan were guerrilla fighters, who were killed by the Mughal soldiers. The Bhangis disposed of their bodies and secretly started worshipping.

Gujjar Singh Bhangi was one of the triumvirate who ruled over Lahore for thirty years before its occupation by Ranjit Singh, was son of a cultivator of modest means, Nattha Singh. Soon the band was united to the force of Hari Singh, head of the Bhangi Misl of chiefship. Gujjar Singh set out on a career of conquest and plunder.

Bhangi Led by Sardar Hari singh Bhangi, so called Bhangi as they liked Bhang. The Bhangis, owned Sialkote, Gujrat, Multan, Amritsar, Tarn tarn and Lahore. During his eighth invasion of India Ahmad Shah Abdali was forced to retreat from the battle at Amritsar. Then, he offered the governor ship of Lahore to the Bhangi Sardar Lahna singh Dhillon, but the latter declined the proposal. Once Charat Singh Sukarchakia and Gujar Singh Bhangi of Bhangi misl secured a crucial victory over Sarbuland Khan, the Afghan faujdar of Rohtas.

Sikh Bhangi sardars of Gujranwala who with their sikh army & little guidance about mine laying from escaped officers of maratha army eg maratha musketeers - artillery men who could escape Afghan massacre aftermoth of battle by taking shelter with Bhangi Sikh Sardars wrested control of Lahore & raided Multan in June 1761 barely within 3 month after departure of Ahmed Shah Abdali's forces. With breaching of Lahore fort walls & advent of mine laying activity no fort anywhere in Punjab remained impregnable from attack of Bhangi Sardar stormtroopers. During muslim rule of Punjab with strong Mughal or Afghan forces stationed at Lahore, Multan, Kunjpura, Sirhind, Kasur& Attock forts could control Punjab from safety of strong fortifications carring out punitive raids on sikhs.

Bhangi Misl sardars also developed differences with Jai Singh. As a result, a big battle was fought between Jai Singh, Charaht Singh, and Sardar Ahluwalia on one side and Bhangis, Ramgarhias and their associates on the other side. The Bhangi side lost the battle. When the Afghan invader, Shah Zaman, came in 1788, the Sikhs, however, were still divided. Ramgarhia and Bhangi Misls were not willing to help Ranjeet Singh to fight the invader, so the Afghans took over Lahore and looted it.

Jangi-Bhangi Rathod and Bhagwandas Wadatiya first came to south India with the army. Jangi-Bhangi had 1 lakh 80 thousand oxen with them. While Bhagwandas Wadatia had 52 thousand oxen. Considering their ability of transport they were regarded with high esteem in the mughal court.They were presented with a Copper Place (Tamrapatra) on which following words were written:Vx E {x, U{{ E P, nx ix J V +Jx E Pb, VM M E JbExcept Marathwada and Khandesh in Vidarbha all Gor Banjaras in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are descendents of Jangi-Bhangi and Bhagwandas Wadatiya. Considering the honour, money, forest area for the food for cattle number of Tandas gradually migrated to south India from Central Province. They did not return to Bundi Kota region again. When the Railway became operational in 1896, their traditional business was gradually closed down. Some Tandas started practice of agriculture on large scale, country liquor, stealing wood from jungles and other big things. The British made a Criminal Tribes Law in 1871 and branded this tribe as criminal. The legal oppression of Gor Banjaras started. The law eroded their life in totality. In 1952 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar as a law minister modified the Criminal Tribes Act but the law was not abolished completely. Its ill effects are still faced by the Banjaras.Marathas and Gor BanjarasAlmost all kings have taken benefit of the transport facility provided by the Gor Banjara tribe.

Va---- were formerly known as Bhangis. Bhangi is an Indian caste even though they are outside of traditional Jati also treated as Untouchables. Bhangis are traditionally restricted to the two job functions of cleaning latrines and handling dead bodies (both human and animal). The Bhangis were primarily employed as manual scavengers in Gujarat. Bhangis have been described as "outcasts even among outcasts. The Bhangis are trapped in a system ordained by the caste structure which impedes rehabilitation and movement into alternative work. Even though most Bhangis are devout Hindus with a great deal of devotion for Hanuman , some Bhangis have converted to Christianity and Buddhism.

Bhangis or nightsoil men are returned as numbering 441 in Kolhapur district and are found in towns and cities where they work as scavengers in municipalities. They have two endoga-mous divisions among them as (1) Muslim Bhangis and (2) Kathevadi Hindu Bhangis who are called ' Halalkhors'. In religion Bhahgis are half Muslims, half Hindus, repeating prayers from the Koran and at the same time worshipping Hindu gods. Pardeshi Bhangis maintain contact with their native villages and often visit them.

Bhangis in Satara district as a class are strong and well made, honest, orderly, and hardworking. They are nightsoil men and scavengers. They are either Hindus or Musalmans and are considered the lowest class in the community. They Worship the usual local and Brahmanic deities as well as Musalman saints, and their family gods are Bahiroba, Devkai, Janai, Jotiba, and Narsoba, of whom they keep images in their houses. They believe in witchcraft soothsaying and evil spirits, allow child and widow marriage, and practise polygamy. Their maimers and customs are the same as those of the Poona Halalkhors.

Earlier, the excrement cleaners, the "Bhangis" as they are known in India, wore a small bell around their neck, which would warn the people about their arrival. Today, this has stopped, but the menial work must be carried on in the dark, so that no one can see them.

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, a Brahmin, as a child touched a "Bhangi" woman. then, not only his mother washed him from head to toe, but he also had to buy cowdung and drink water from the Ganga river for "spiritual cleaning". Today, Pathak is 48 years old and is promoter of sociology. He is also the leader of the Sulabh Movement, whose aim is to free the "Bhangis". Pathak and his other colleagues are convinced that the sewerage system as at present found in the West, will be too expensive for Indians and has not been considered suitable due to water scarcity.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 06/06/2008
Nagpur - Maharastra - India

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The kolis and bhills are one and the same race from Mudiraj people are descended. Sait Valmiki is a well known Bhil - koli. While bhils are professional hunters, the kolis became professional fishermen. Kohlis and Bheels are generally considered part of the Hindu community.

The Bhils are considered as the third largest and most widely distributed tribal groups in India. The Bhils inhabit a region that stretches from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Bhils are a tribal people of central India. They speak Bhil languages, a group of Indic languages. The bhils of North India who migrated to South India came to be known as Boya, Boyar, Bedar and so on. There are 48 districts in which the Bhils have declared regional languages as their mother tongue. Bhils are a scheduled tribe in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan in western and central India, as well as in Tripura in far-eastern India, on the border with Bangladesh.

The bow has long been a characteristic weapon of the Bhil because the tribesmen always carry their bows and arrows with them. The Bhil tribes inhabit some of the most remote and inaccessible areas of India. There are two divisions of Bhils: the Central or "pure" Bhils, and the Eastern or Rajput Bhils. The Central Bhils live in the mountain regions in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. They are known as the connecting link between the Gujaratis and the Rajasthanis and are one of the largest tribal communities of India. They speak Bhili, which is an Indo-Aryan language. The Bhils are known to have fought against the Mughals, Marathas and the British.

Legend has it that the Bhils were fine archers, hence their name, which can be traced to the Telugu word Villu and Tamil word vil, meaning bow. The legend of Eklavya, a Bhil who outshined the skill of Arjuna only to be restrained by the command of his guru, Dronacharya, is mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. The Ramayana talks of Ratnakara, the Bhil bandit who ameliorated with the blessings of Lord Narad, to become Valmiki, the renowned poet sage. In religion, popular Bhil figures are Shabari, who offered Shri Rama and Shri Laxmana half-eaten 'ber' when they were searching for Sita Devi in the forest. Maharishi Matanga was another Hindu sage that became a Brahmana. They were immensely esteemed as warriors, and the Rajput rulers relied on them to impede the invading Marathas and Mughals.

Vhillu => Vhil => Bhil

Some scholars believe that present day Adivasis are the survivals of the Neolithic Age, being driven into hills and forests by later Aryan invaders and they are at present represented by the Gonds, Bhils, Santhals, etc. and a number of superstitious along with the worship of manes and spirits and Phallus images of stone and wood and the use of amulets, beads, sacred threads, shells, stones, etc., for curing diseases and keeping away the evil spirits can be traced to the Neolithic period. The ghoomar dance is one well-known aspect of Bhil culture.

The main tribes of Rajasthan are the Bhils and the Minas that were the original inhabitants of the area now called Rajasthan.The Bhils traditionally inhabited the south - eastern corner of the Rajastan state - the area around Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Dungarpur - although the largest concentrations of them are found in neighboring Madhya Pradesh.

The Bhils are a Scheduled Tribe, but really it's been only since the British came and more recently, that their lifestyle is in danger. This was because they lived in remote areas and in forests, away from the influence of other peoples, so their customs were very different. When the British came, they were classified as a criminal tribe, and then in the last century, their land is disappearing because of general demand for land and loss of forest in India.

The colonial authorities had introduced the term "criminal tribe" through the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 which designated 150 tribal communities as "inherantly criminal". Independent India repealed this hideous piece of legislation in 1952 but unfortunately replaced it with the Habitual Offenders Act instead. The Bhils of Khandesh and the Pardis, who were declared a criminal tribe in early British times are still hunted like feral animals by the police.

During the first half of the nineteenth century, the tribes in the North West frontier had been declared 'criminal tribes'. This category became increasingly open ended and by 1871 the British had prepared an official list of Criminal Tribes. An act to regulate criminal tribes was passed that year. For instance, Bhils who had fought the British rule in Kandesh and on the banks of Narmada and were convicted under section 110 of the IPC were to be recognised as criminal tribes. The police force as well as the people in general were taught to look upon the 'Criminal Tribes' as born criminals during the colonial times. That attitude continues to persist even today.

Captain Macintosh also reports troubles from Koli bands in between 1818 to 1848 AD. Captain Macintosh though towards the end of 1848 succeeded in putting down this revolt, but soon after Bhils started raising banner against colonial subjugation. British tactfully formed a Koli corps under colonel Nuttal and used them to fight against Bhils who were the traditional rivals of the Kolis. The same corps seems to have been employed also in connection with putting down the revolt of 1857. ultimately the corps was dismantled in 1861 AD. Mahadev Kolis took some time to get over this trauma and opposed the British due to its interference in their territories. This was full of vigour and vindication. Finally, before they could put the British administration into any trouble, in 1914 AD. under the criminal tribes act Mahadev Kolis were notified as a criminal tribe.

According to Father Augustine, anthropologists consider the Bhils to be a criminal tribe. And if you ever chance to travel upon the road from Indore to Jhabua, you may find yourself agreeing with this assessment. The Kolis, Bhils, and Ramusis belong to the class of criminal tribes.Since the beginning of British rule the chief difficulty in keeping order has been the Bhils. Finally, the British formed a Mewar Bhil Corps in the 1820s in recognition of the Bhill's martial traditionThe Bhils formed into a Corps in 1841 had already exhibited 'remarkable fidelity and military steadiness during the 1857 battles.

The Bhils compromise 39% of Rajasthan's tribal population. Their stronghold is Banswara. The generic term derives from Bhils, which describe their original talent and strength. The Bhils maintained their numbers by mingling with rebellious outcaste Rajputs. Although originally food gatherers, the Bhils these days have taken up small-scale agriculture, city residence and employment. According to Census 2001, of the 12 tribes scheduled for the State, Meenas (spelt as Mina in the Census) are the most populous tribe, comprising nearly 53.5 per cent of the total S.T. population followed by Bhils. Together, the Meenas and Bhils constitute 93 per cent of the S.T. population, while Garasias, Damords, Dhankads and Saharias comprise 6.6 per cent, and six other tribes, including Bhil Meenas, constitute the residual 0.3 per cent.

The Bhils have been more or less left untouched by modernisation and liberalisation. They still wear their traditional, fluorescent-coloured pagris (headgear) and move around barefoot, including children and women.

In feudal and colonial times, many Bhils were employed by the ruling Rajput in various capacities, e.g. as shikari because of their knowledge of the terrain. Many had even become warriors in armies. They were in the Mewar army of Maharana Pratap Singh and like Shivaji , were experts in guerilla warfare which the Mughals had trouble with so much.

In fact, some scholars suggest that the Rajputss owe their warrior propensities to their exposure to the Bhills, whom they emulated. Even now, the accepted arch of all the Rajput clan of Rajasthan, the Maharana of Udaipur is crowned by smearing his forehead with blood drawn from the thumb of a Bhil chieftain, endorsing the coherence and loyalty of his tribe towards the master. They were associated with the legendary Rana Pratap and are credited with having helped the Rajput king recapture his kingdom from the mighty Mughals. .

The Baneshwar fair is a Bhil festival held near Dungarpur in January/ February each year, and large numbers of Bhils gather for several days of singing, dancing and workship. Baneshwar mela (rajasthan ka kumbh) is the largest tribe fair of bheels . almost 1 lakh people mostly from bheel tribe come here. Holi is another important time for the Bhils. Witchcraft, magic and superstition are deeply rooted aspects of Bhil culture. The Bhils use heavy Dhols and Mandals as musical instruments. The Bheel tribe from Rajasthan performs Gavari, a living piece of ritualistic theatre, around this time of the year. It is also believed that Gavari is the daughter of Himal-Bheel, who comes to visit her parents once in a year during Rakshabandhan.

The Bhils live in the hilly tracts of Arawali around Chittaurgarh, Banswara and Dungarpur, are even now primitive and ridden with poverty. The Bhils prefer to live in isolated hamlets rather than villages. The Bhils are characterised by curly hair, dark skin, broad noses, a short and robust structure. Although restrained in their dress, the Bhils, especially the women, have a great fondness for jewellery made of horn, lac, silver and copper: the bor, jhela, pande or kanphools, and the tussi or bazar batti.

In the later days the Bhils and Meenas mixed with the Pardeshis (foreign people) who were Scythian, Hepthalite or other Central asian clans. The Scythian mixed Meenas and Bhils remain as Rajput subclans, while the Meenas and Bhils who were displaced by the Scythian invaders and Muslims have mixed with the tribal Bhils and form the Bhil (tribal) meenas.

The "Garasias" are a small Rajput adivasi group found in the Abu Road area of Southern Rajasthan. It is understood that they intermingled with the "Bhils" to some extent, which is supported by the fact that bows and arrows are widely used by Garasias.

Panvad among the tribal towns of Vadodara district is closest to Madhya Pradesh. The Bhils, who are no different from the Rathwas in language or customs and who live on the other side of the 'notional' border, were at one time notified during British rule under the Criminal Tribes Act (1871). The reason was that they had earlier worked as seasonal soldiers for the Maratha princes in Indore and Dhar. But their 'denotification' in 1952 has left them no real choice but to take up a life of occasional crime.

Freedom Fighter Govind Guru Banjara :He established a religious sect called Lasodia (Lawadiga) and united people to revolt against the British through the saints and sages. He spread a great deal of awareness especially among the Bhils in the mountain region of Gujarat like Durgapur, Banswada, Sudhrapur, Panchmahal and Kheda. Lakhs of Bhils became his followers. In the night of Diwali in 1913 he called all his followers together at Manavgarh. Thousand of Bhils gathered with their bows and arrows and other weapons. They decided to attack on a nearby camp of British in the night. The British got information about the gathering of lakhs of people in the jungle that night. Colonel Shutton put up a seize around Manavgarh with all his men and machinery. A fierce battle followed. Around 2 thousand people died in the firing. Gauging the situation Govind Guruji ordered his followers to hide in the forest and himself surrendered to Colonel Shutton. He was ordered to be hanged till death. The enraged lakhs of Bhils then took to the streets. It forced the British to change the sentence awarded to Govind Guru to Kalapani.

Dr G N Devy, the secretary for the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Action Group, who is documenting tribal literature, says "None of the brave fights of the tribals against the British has ever been treated as part of the national struggle for freedom. From the Bihar uprising of 1778 to Lakshman Naik's revolt in Orissa in 1942, the tribals of India repeatedly rebelled against the British in the North East, Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. In fact, the British had to accede to the demands of the Bhils and the Naiks after their revolt in 1809 and 1838."

Gardi :Gardi or Bhils community essentially were hunting tribes. Some of bhils who with their associations with local chieftains became their personal guards in chieftains private army or men employed to carry out activities eg raid on enemy territory or possessions like grain or wealth for looting purpose became to be known as gardis. Peninsular India or deccan plateau due to its geographical conditions developed into a different entity than the plains of Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra.

The Gardi community in India has its origin in 5000 years of cultural evolution countless invasions taking place in Peninsular India. Gardis are a subcaste of the Bhil community of Deccan.

Barel :The Barels are considered to be the sub-group of Bhils. They speak Barel language.

Bauria :The Baurias are also considered as a sub-group of Bhils. Their language is also known as Bauria. Bauria is a tribal community dwelling in the states of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The community members are an itinerant, hunting gathering tribe. They are engaged in gathering of forest products. Baurias cultivate crops such as maize, millet, cucumbers, cotton, rice, lentils and barley. The houses are built on hills. Each consists of bamboo walls and thatched roofs. They follow the exogamous system. Baurias worship non-living objects and spirits, along with worshipping many Hindu gods and goddess. Ancestor worship is also a part of their custom.

These Baurias seems to be the same as Bowris or Bauris who are closely related to Kaikadis, Erukalas and Pardhis. The Pardhis of Berar admit that they are Baurias, who originated from Rajputana.

Bowri => Bauri => Bauria

Wagdis The Wagdis are considered as a sub-group of Bhils. The Wagdi language, also called Wagdi, belongs to the Bhil branch of the Indo-Aryan language family.

Bhel or Bheel or Bhil is a Sindhi tribe in Sindh, Pakistan. Bhils are also settled in Tharparkar district of Sindh in Pakistan. Bhils , people, numbering about 3 million, who inhabit portions of Pakistan and of W central India, especially S Rajasthan and Gujarat states. They speak an Indo-European language, Bhili, and retain a distinctive culture, much affected by, but not absorbed into, Hinduism. They were traditional enemies of the Rajputs and allies of the Mughals.

Bhil => Bhillu => Bhillava
Bhillava <=> Vhillava <=> Villuvar

The Kalitokai, an ancient Tamil work, mentions the association of the Villavars and their allies Meenavars (fishermen) who fought a fierce battle (around 500BC to 1000 BC) against Nagas. The Nagas were the Non Aryan tribes of of North India. Nagas are Non Dravidians and non-Aryans and among the early inhabitants of India. Nagas founded numerous kingdoms in the North India who were friendly with the Aryans in the ancient times. Nahusha who became Indra, the king of Devas or Aryans was a Naga. However the Nagas, the proud rulers of ancient North India lost their position in the Aryan dominated areas, after they became Buddhists and were pushed to the lower echelons of the society. After the defeat of Villavars and Minavars at the Central India by Nagas some clans of Nagas moved into south India and got assimilated by the Dravidians.

They had heavy Aryan mixture. When the Villavars and Minavars were defeated by the Nagas in the Central India, the Present day Maharashtra, Chatthisgarh and Madyapradesh area was lost to the Nagas and it was occupied by Nagas. In the later days, Naga hordes moved southwards and infiltrated Southern India. Nagas seem to be more related to the Kalabhras or Kalapirars or Kalavar who invaded the Pandyan kingdom around 350 AD.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 13/06/2008
Nagpur - Maharastra - India

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Meenas are fishermen community of North India, who could be a variant of kolis. The meenas, who are from Rajastan were warriors and erstwhile rulers. The meenas of North India and Meenavars of South India seems to be one and the same people. The western ganga rulers ( Muttarasas = Mudiraj ) of South India , who are believed to be the migrants from North India could most probably be the people belonging or relating to Meena tribe of Rajastan.

The Sangam literature such as Patthupattu, Ettu thogai, Purnanooru, Agananooru and other works in Tamil language are clearly vouching the status and predominance the Paravas ( Meenas ) enjoyed in the earlier centuries of B.C & A.D.

While Meenavar community is listed listed in official records as Most Backward Class (MBC) in Tamilnadu, the Meenas of Rajastan are listed as Scheduled Tribes. While the meenavar community is the one that takes the boats out to sea, the jobs listed below are carried out by dalits and members of the pazhankudi community: (i) Manual labour that lifts the fish catch from the sea on to the boat, (ii) Manual labour that lifts the catch on to the shore and sorts it, (iii) Truck drivers who transport the fish to different regions for export/sale, (iv) Those who sell fish on the shore in baskets or on bicycles, (v) Those who repair/paint boats, etc, (vi) Those who do inland fishing, (vii) Labourers who form part of fish-packing activities and (viii) Prawn farm labourers.

The people of the sea-shore were Meenavar. They were all simple people climbing on Palmyrah or Coconut-trees, feeding their cattle in the grassy lands or catching fish from the sea. Some were engaged in picking up pearls from the depth of the sea. They were a simple people. The Meenavar community constitute the majority of fishermen in Nagapattanam and Eastern coast of Tamilnadu. The subects of Meenavars are - Agnikula Kshatriya, Mukkuvan including Chinna Pattinavar Paravar, Parvatharajakulam Pattinavar Periya, Pattinavar Sembadavar.

Neydal was the coastal region in Tamilnadu. The people of this region known as Parathavar or Meenavar. Fishing was their natural occupation. They were also famous sailors. A few people of this region produced and sold salt. They were called as Umanar. The God of the Neydal region was Varunan or the God of the sea. There is one Mutharayer Meenavar Colony in Tuticorin. This indicates sections of Meenavars are part of Muthuraja community. The people of Meenavars (Parvatharajakulam) also worship Goddess Angalamman as Mudiraj worship Goddess Ankamma. Goddess Ankamma is known as Angamma or Ammanga in Tamilnadu

Meenavars might have mixed with Parada or Paratarajas or Parvata Raja Kulam, an Indo -Scythian clan and got alienated from the Villavar and Nadalvar (Nadar) clans. Mudirajus or Mutharaiyar a Kalabhra aristocracy who once ruled Chera, Chola and Pandyan kingdoms as Muvendars regard Paratas as one of their own clan. Now at the present day, Meenavar caste has been spread up to eight divisions, the major tribes are Maravar and paravar(parathavar), who were ancient rulers of land and seas of Pandya kingdom. Nagas seem to be more related to the Kalabhras or Kalapirars or Kalavar who invaded the Pandyan kingdom around 350 AD.

The Paratarajas ( Indo-Parthians ) are an almost unknown dynasty who ruled in what is now the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, probably during the first through the third centuries. The Paratarajas ( meenas ) are a dynasty of Indo-Scythian kings who ruled in the Baluchistan region of today's Pakistan and Iran, from the 1st century to the 3rd century CE. The dynasty of the Paratas is thought to be identical with the Paradas of the Mahabharata, the Puranas and other Indian sources. They are essentially known through their coins, which typically exhibit the bust of the ruler on the observe, with long hair within a headband), and a swastika within a Brahmi legend on the reverse (usually silver coins) or Kharoshthi (usually copper coins). The coins can mainly be found in the Loralai area of modern Pakistan. Paratarajas were local Indo-Parthian Satraps, who ruled an area between todays Loralai in Baluchistan and Multan. Their coinage and history has not been fully understood, but hopefully with the discovery of more coins, more insight into their history will come to light. Parvati is the daughter of Parvataraja, the King of the Himalayas.

Parvatarajas = Paratarajas = Indo-Parthians = Pardhis = Erukalas

Along the Coromandel coast of Tamil Nadu (between the districts of Thiruvallur and Nagapattinam), the Pattanavars ( Parvathrajas ) are the main caste involved in fishing, while Kanyakumari is dominated by the Mukkuvars. Kanyakumari also has the Paravas. Among the Pattanavars, where the predominant religion is Hinduism, the most important institution at the community hamlet (kuppam) level for the fishing community is the caste panchayat, with the talaivar as the head. Its most important role is in the realm of conflict resolution in fishery and / or related social issues in the village. This institution is a nested structure working from the village upwards.

Parvatar => Paravar => Parava

Parava or Paravas, also known as Bharathar, Paravar is one of the oldest Tamil castes. For centuries the Paravas had been pearl divers. The Paravas later diversified into fishing, salt-making and other maritime professions. Paravar also refers to the people living on the coast of the Indian state of Tamilnadu and in parts of northern and western Sri Lanka (Ceylon). The Paravas in Sri Lanka migrated from India during the British colonial days; many prospered in trade and business in Sri Lanka and now generally speak Sinhala, the language of Sri Lanka.

As in other old Tamil caste such as Devars, Paravars are also are very proud about their caste heritage. There are many historic reasons for the closer relations with the Pandiyan kingdom of Madurai. Tuticorin the port city of the Pandiyan kingdom, has always been a stronghold of the Paravars. The Paravars were the chiefs of the coastal region and they ruled their areas as subordinates of the Pandyas of the Sangam age. The Paravars head quarter was Korkai harbour during the regime of Pandiyan Kingdom and they all spread into 22 fishing hamlets in the pearl fishery coast of Gulf of Mannar and adjacent Comerin coast. The paravas once a very powerful people and no doubt derived much of their ascendancy over other tribes from their knowledge of navigation and pearl fishery. They had a succession of kings among them, distinguished by the title Adiarasen Some of these chiefs seem to have resided at Uttara Kosmangay near Ramnad. In olden days paravars were engaged in trading with Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, Java, Burma and Ceylon. Korkai pearl was the most famous item exported from Tamil land.

The Paravas were a Tamil fisher caste who inhabited the fishery coast extending from Cape Comorin Kanya Kumari to the isle of Mannar (Rameswaram) along the gulf that bears the name. The Paravas plied the trade of pearl fishing, diving for pearls to the bottom of the deep where they could stay for many hours. Bharatars (paravas) worked at the Fishery Coast, which is also known as the Pearl. Fishery Coast in India. The pearal fishing most probably gave them the name Mutthuraja.

Mutthu = Muttu = Pearl
Raja = King
Mutthuraja = Muthuraja = Kings from community of pearl fishing

There were two subdivisions in the Paravars. Pagal Paravas and Nila Paravas, i.e. Sun Paravas and Moon Paravas. The Paravas of South India and Ceylone are Moon Paravas. The Moon Paravas seem to have been the more important of the line. They constituted one fourth of the whole Mina stock. The country where the Paravas lived was sometimes called Paravanad � once only in the inscriptions � on account of their political importance and their riches. Their main city was called Paravarpalli, the city of the Paravas. The king of the Paravas always received the title of Minavan and his banner had two fishes on it.

They are the Bharatar or the Paravas. Parava pearl (incidentally pearl fishing was done only for 20-30 days in March, every year) fishermen inhabited the sandy coast from Kanyakumari to Rameswaram in South India, concentrating around Thoothukudi - Tuticorin. Early in the 16th century, they were virtually reduced to slavery by Muslim rulers who took over the pearl fishing rights, and the Hindu rulers who did not quite support their cause, till finally the Portuguese came to their salvation. They were the first to embrace Christianity in the 16th century.

The Paravas, also known as Bharathar, Paravar, Meenparavar and Fernandos, are one of the oldest Tamil castes. (Paravar is a Tamil word refering to the people living in the sea shore and its closet Neythal thinai)- together with Maravar (Devar) and Kuravar. Marvars are also believed to be the descendants of Meenavars. The name 'Fernando', a predominant surname and other surnames were acquired from the Portuguese, under whose influence the Paravas came into, in the 16th century. The Parava tribes split into three categories namely Tamil Paravans who are Fishermen on the Sea coast ,Malayalee Paravans who are Sea shell collectors, lime burners& Gymnasts and thirdly Canarese (kannada) Paravans who are umbrella makers & devil dancers. The paravas once a very powerful people and no doubt derived much of their ascendancy over other tribes from their knowledge of navigation and pearl fishery. They had a succession of kings among them, distinguished by the title ADIYARASEN. Some of these kings seem to have resided at UTTARA KOSAMANGAY near Ramnad. The story of this city itself is clear evidence to this fact. Later, the leaders were called by names Thalaivan, Pattankattiyars, Adappannars etc.

Among the various categorisations of the sea environment, the Pattanavars ( Parvatarajas ) recognise eight kinds of current, wind and direction. Each current influences the fishing activities, depending on its direction and velocity, which are further influenced by the movement of position of the Moon, change of seasonality, etc.

The Hebrews may be related to the Rigvedic Aryan tribes of Bharatas. The Bharatas are mentioned in the Rgveda as a warlike race . The Bharatas appear to be specially connected with sacrificial rites in the Rigveda. The holy land of Bharatavars was on the bank of the Gan:ga river in North India. A.L. Basham states that Bharatas was one of the invading Aryan tribes, which settled in the region between the Satlaj and Jamna, which later became known as Brahmavarta.

Bharata's ancestors lived in the region of the Caspian sea in Central Asia; they were nomadic tribesmen of Aryan stock. Bharata's legendary capital lay in the Kabul valley, ie. Yusufzai territory of modern Afghanistan. From this base he descended with his hordes of Aryan horsemen onto the plains of India.There he defeated Indra, a descendant of the first Aryan invader Indra, earning himself the title "most renowned of the Lunar race". Bharata clan initially settled on the banks of the Saraswati river. There the Bharatas got mixed up with Dravidian Bhil koli fishing tribes. He then conquered the Upper Ganges valley, exceeding Indra's dominion. After the wars of annexation, the Raj of Bharata extended over the enitre doab between the rivers Ganges and the Jumna right up to the junction of these 2 rivers. It is thus obvious that Bharata's empire, Bharatavarsha, only included a few provinces in the Ganges Valley. Thus Bharatavarsha did not include the whole of India and never did, but only denoted the kingdom of the Aryan invader Bharata, who was a chieftain of one of the Aryan tribes that invaded India. This small region comprised only a small part of the upper Ganges valley.

Meena is a Sanskrit word meaning fish. It has been suggested that the Bharatas and some other tribes of the Rgveda later on merged in the Kurus. There are two Bharatas quite distinct from each other. One tribe of the Bharatas are the Bharatas of the Rig Veda, who were descended from Manu and to whom Sudas belonged. The other tribe of Bharatas are the Daushyanti Bharatas. The decline of the Kurus after the Bharata War brought in many tribes in the region who mixed up with and became part and parcel of the original settlers. The first story of reconciliation concerns the two tribes, the Bharatas to whom Vishvamitra belonged and the Tritsus to whom Vasishtha belonged.

This indicates that bharatas or meenas are more aryanised Indo-Aryan warrior clans having fishing background, who later came to South India. One of Arjuna's is Partha and this name seems to be derived from Bharata. Even the people of Pardhi tribe seems to be related to Bharats. Arjuna who was a descendant of Bharata tribe hits moving FISH in Matsya Yantra to win Draupadi. This too indicates that kurus and pandu were warrior clans from fishing background. There are several Mudiraj people who gotra is Pandavula.

Bharatha => Bhartha => Phartha => Partha
Partha => Parthi => Pardhi

The Bharatas, and their priestly aristocracy of Tritsus, the Vasishthas, appear to have joined the Kuru-Panchala confederacy about the time that the Brahmanas were being composed, and these were probably influenced by the ritualistic practices of the Vasishthas. There are references to Agni of the Bharatas, and a goddess Bharati is mentioned in connection with the Saraswati river.It appears highly probable that the Bharatas and the Kuru-Panchalas represent late invasions of peoples who displaced the earlier Aryan settlers in Hindustan.

The great epic Mah�bh�rata, "the Iliad of India", may have been founded on the hero songs which celebrated the Aryan tribal wars in India. Its action is centred in Kuru-kshetra, "the country of the Kurus", in which the Bharatas had settled. Two rival families contend for supremacy; these are the Kauravas (the Kurus) and the Pandavas who are supported by the Panchalas and others. The Pandavas and Kauravas are cousins and the descendants of the eponymous King Bharata. In the royal family tree the tribal names of Kuru and Puru appear as names of kings.

Mahabharata deals with story of Maha Bharatas or the Great Bharatas. It is possible that that these are the same or related people who assumed the title Maharayars and Mudirajas after their migration to South India. Here Mudi and Maha means Great.

Mudi = Maha = Great

The Bharatas (Paravars = Meenas ) are an Aryan tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, especially in Mandala attributed to the Bharata sage Vishvamitra and as a name of Rudra. Mandala mentions the Bharatas as taking part in the Battle of the Ten Kings, where they are on the winning side. They appear to have been successful in the early power-struggles between the various Aryan and non-Aryan tribes so that in post-Vedic ), the Mahabharata, the eponymous ancestor becomes Emperor Bharata, conqueror of all of India and his tribe and kingdom is called Bharata. "Bharata" today is the official name of the Republic of India .

Bharatakula also Bharathas are a Sri Lankan caste of Paravar immigrants from Tamil Nadu in India. Paravar are to be found all over Sri Lanka. Amongst Sri Lankan Tamils Paravar are still a fishing and trading caste. The Bharatas or Bharatakula identity is maintained by a relatively prosperous merchant group from India that settled amongst the Sinhalese in the Negombo area. is also noteworthy that the Bharatas in the Rig Veda were a clan among the Indo-Aryan Pauravas who fought away Iranian invaders. Many marchents and vaishyas were once belonged to warrior race but in due course of time they became specialised in trade & commerce under the patronage of their warrior ruling relatives.

The Vanaras could have been referred to as 'the monkeys' in asmuch as the Pandyans who fought under the banner emblazoned with an image of a fish were referred to iconographically with a symbol of the fish and their king, in older Tamizh literature, as 'meenavan', literally the fishman.

Meenans of South India are fishermen similar to Cholas and Mutharayars. From Kumbakonam Nageswaran temple / Tiruvottiyur inscriptions, we understand that one Meenavan Madevi was one of the consorts of Uthama Chozha.

The Pandiyan kingdom had the fish as emblem and the flag had the same motif on it. The kings were called Meenavan indicating that the kingdom had fishery and perhaps founded by fishermen. Their deity is "Meenaakshi" (or Meenaakshi or Meenakshi). "Meen" means fish, and "akshi" means Eye. Thus the name "Meenaakshi" means Goddess with fisk like eyes. The fish symbols in Harappan seals may refer to their ancestral king and / or the goddess.

Meen = Meena = Fish
Akshi = Eye
Meena + Akshi = Meenakshi
Meenakshi = One having eyes like fish

The History of Pandiyan Kingdom starts with early prehistory of India before 12000 to 15000 years ago. The ancient Pandiyan kingdom had soverignity over most of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Southern Karnataka and Srilanka. It is the oldest of all the kingdoms in India, founded by native Dravidians.

However the main ancient Pandian dynasty is from Mara Vamsam. Nadar community who descend from the ancient Pandian kingdom who descend from the Maravamsam hence called Maranadar /Mara Nadalwar, Nadar, Nadan, Nadava, Alwar, Maran all are abbreviations and synonyms of the same name. The Kings had the title Maravarman and Maran. Nelveli and Maveli and Chadayan were the titles of the Pandiyan kings. The Maveli Thamburan of Onam could have been a Pandiyan king as there was only Pandiyan king before 3000 yrs at Kerala. The onam festival was celebrated throughout Pandiyan kingdom ie Kerala as well as Tamil nadu in ancient times. The place called Mavelikkara and Thirunelveli, NenMara in Palakkad and Chadayamangalam all may indicate Pandiyan Soverignity. The titles of ancient Pandiyan kingdom. Maravars are a part of Mutharayar community and they are one of three clans of Mukkulathors.

Meena => Meenavar => Meenavar
Meenavar => Maarvar => Maravar

The Kalitokai, an ancient Tamil work, mentions the association of the Villavars and their allies Meenavars (fishermen) who fought a fierce battle (around 500BC to 1000 BC) against Nagas. The Nagas though Non Aryan lived in the North India and had heavy Aryan mixture. When the Villavars and Minavars were defeated by the Nagas in the Central India, the Present day Maharashtra, Chatthisgarh and Madyapradesh area was lost to the Villavars and Nagas occupied it. In the later days, Naga hordes moved southwards and infiltrated Southern India.

According to scholars, the southern region -- known generally as tamilakam, which included almost the entire region south of the Deccan -- was divided into five geographical segments. The people who inhabited the coasts, known as neithal, were described as meenavar or paravar in Sangam literature.

After theSaka or Indo-Scythian people who invaded India in the second century BC some Nagas mixed with the Scythians especially at North India. Keralolpathi, Keralamahatmiyam and Kerala Purana state the story of Naga migration from north to south in the first millennium.

Meenas are a tribe whom one would find only in Rajasthan. They are now having Scheduled Tribe status in Rajastan. The similarity between the gujjars and the meenas appear over the way in which the British treated them. Like the Gujjars, British found this community also as a thorn in their flesh, and one British chronicler even called them "revengeful and blood thirsty". And like they did with the gujjars, this community was also denominated as a criminal tribe. It may be seen that both gujjars and the meenas who had belonged to a much higher caste order were relegated into criminal tribes during the British times.

Originally Meenas were a ruling cast, and were ruler of Matsya, i.e., Rajasthan, but their slow downfall began with the assimilation with Scythian. and was completed when the British government declared them a "Criminal Tribe". Meenas are also found in north-western Madhya Pradesh. The Meenas, community of Rajasthan, are an agricultural people occupying one of the most fertile regions of the state. The Meena kings were the early rulers of major parts of Rajasthan including Amber (early capital of Jaipur).According to Britannica, "the Minas are possibly of inner Asiatic origin, and tradition suggests that they migrated to India in the 7th century with the Rajputs".

From Vedic period to the present, Meenas have seen many ups and downs. In ancient period they were a ruling tribe of Rajasthan. Coming to medieval period they were cut off from their own land, to the interiors of mountain and forests. The oral history preserved in the traditional folktales and folklores of this tribe affirm the kingdom of Meena (Mindesh) with its capital at Amber. Col. James Tod has written that, Meena was a great community which ruled over large part of Rajasthan. During the 10th century AD, Meenas were totally routed out from Amber and Jaipur and thus deprived of their privileges. Meenas were the original builders of Amber, which town they consecrated to Amba, the Mother Goddess, whom they knew as `Gatta Rani' or `Queen of the Pass'

Later, with advent of the Rajputs and other invaders into their territory, the Meenas were gradually sidelined and pushed deep into the forests. Even so, they continued to be a threat due to their guerilla tactics against the Rajputs and the British. To arrest their power and strength, and to curb their spirit, the British notified them under the Habitual Criminal Act in 1930, referring to them as robbers and criminals. Under this Act, permits were issued to restrict and limit their movement in the area. As a result, historical literature has completely bypassed the Meenas.

These so-called criminal tribes were actually non-tax paying communities of singers, acrobats, musicians, and cattle grazers, amongst others, whose nomadic lifestyle was a constant source of suspicion for the British. Thereafter, they were confined to newly created ghettos, and put to work as cheap labour for industries. Infants were separated from their mothers, because the British insisted that their "criminal" strain should not be passed on. Thus the British sowed the seeds of unfounded prejudice, which continues to date. According to Devy, "Even the Meenas, who were coin makers, were notified as criminals, because the State wanted to convert coin production into a state venture. These tribes were stigmatised by the State and consequently by the people who received education from it � the middle class."

The Meenas who constitute almost half of the tribal population used to live on rocky elevations or in thick forests and their settlements were called Mewasas. The cluster of their houses was also called a pal and was named after the gotra to which most of the inhabitants belonged. The Meenas were settled in the villages of Jaipur, Sawai- Madhopur and Tonk districts. Of their two classes, the Purana Basi Meenas are mostly agriculturists while the Naya Basis belong to the light-fingered fraternity which prior to independence was subjected to daily attendance at the nearest police station under the Criminal Tribes.

Meenas, Meena or Mina is numerically the largest tribe mainly found in Rajasthan, India. It is a dominating tribe in the eastern part of the state (i.e. the Aravalli range) which is most fertile and ecologically rich. In the past, the greed for this fertile strip in the remaining arid Rajasthan led to constant invasions by the Aryans, Kshtriyas, Muslims and later by the British; but the Meenas did not succumb to these alien forces and retained their individuality by confining themselves to the interior areas of the region. Meenas are a rich land-owning community inhabiting the western districts of Rajasthan.

According to studies it has been found that Meenas originally seems to have been an aboriginal or pre-Aryan tribe of Rajasthan. About the ethnic identity and origin of Meenas, they recognize their progeny from the 'Meenaavatar', the tenth fish incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Indus Valley Civilization also seems to bear a link in the history of this tribe. Meena or Matsya cast was among the Dravids of Mohenjodaro and Harappan Civilization who were driven out after the advent of the Aryans.

The name Mina is derived from Meen, meaning 'fish' in Sanskrit, and the Minas claim descent from the Matsya Avatar, or fish incarnation, of Vishnu. Meenas celebrate Meenesh Jayanti in the name of Vishnu on 3 Tithi of Chaitra Shukal paksha according to the Hindu calendar. The main reference of this belief is based on the scripture of the Matsya Purana.

Meenas are considered as a Kshatriya cast equally as Rajputs, and having higher social status in the society. They are well integrated with other higher cast like Rajputs, Brahmins etc. Brahmin perform all rituals from birth, marriage and death for Meenas like for any other higher Hindu cast. In Tamilnadu, we can see Meenava Chettiyars among chettiyars.

At the time of great Epic Mahabharat was written there was a Janpad known as "Matsya Janpad".The capital of this Janpad was "Virat Nagar", now known as "Bairath" and renamed as Virata Nagar again.The Pandavas got shelter there for one year. Meenas are considered the brothers and kinsmen of Virata, the ruler of Virat Nagar. They ruled this area(Near to Virat Nagar) till 11 th century.

In the ancient times Rajasthan was ruled by a dynasty of Meenas which had the emblem of Fish like the Pandyan kingdom of the south. The Meena kingdom ruled the east of the river Jamuna roughly corresponding to the modern Jaipur and Alwar (ruler) areas. The meena kingdom (Fish kingdom) was called Matsya Kingdom in Sanskrit was mentioned in the Rig Veda. The Bhil Meenas could correspond to the Dravidian Villavar (Chera) and Meenavar (Pandya Kingdom)respectively and may descend from indigenous Dravidian rulers (Alwars) originally.

Most of the Bhil Meenavas were aryanised even during the Vedic Period (1500 BC) and were considered as Vedic Tribes and had adopted Indo Aryan languages but a minority of the Bhil (tribal) Meenas still talk Dravidian as their mother tongue. Bhils and Meenas are included in the Kshatriya Varna. In the later days the Bhils and Meenas mixed with the Pardeshis or Rajputs who were Scythian, Hepthalite or other Central Asian clans. The Scythian mixed Meenas and Bhils remain as Rajput subclans while the Meenas and Bhils who were displaced by the Scythian invaders and Muslims have mixed with the tribal Bhils and form the Bhil (tribal) meenas who still speaks a Dravidian tongue and still considered as Rajputs. Bhil meenas are also found in parts of North eastern India and Sind area of Pakistan.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 18/ 06 / 2008
Nagpur - Maharastra - India

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The Enadis are very ancient community. Enadhi or Enadi, Eyinan + Adi (ancient archer) a title used in the ancient Pandyan kingdom indicates their Villavar origins. The flag of the Pandiyan kingdom had fish as the emblem. Enadi word is derived from Eyinan [archer] + Adi [ancient or the first]. Enadis were preceptors of martial arts and chiefs of the defense forces.

Enadi = Eyinan = Eyinar = Archer
Aadi = Adi = Ancient or the First
Eyinan + Adi = Eyinanadi
Eyinanadi => Eyinadi => Enadi
Eyinanadi => Eyinadi => Yenadi => Yanadi

Maravar, Eyinar, Oliyar, Oviyar, Aru-Valur and Parathavar are believed to have Naga origins. Some Nagas founded kingdoms in Sri Lanka which was in turn renamed Nagadipa. They colonised Greater India, Indo China and South Asian countries and moved as fare as Philippines while establishing numerous kingdoms. Nagas seem to be more related to the Kalabhras or Kalapirars or Kalavar who invaded the Pandyan kingdom around 350 AD. Kalabhras were the South Indian dynasty who between the 3rd and the 6th century C.E. ruled over entire Tamil country, displacing the ancient Chola, Pandya and Chera dynasties.

. Many hindu saints had the old Pandiyan titles. Eg Nammalwar maran, Perial maran, Enadinatha Nayanar(Shanar Swordsman who tutored Princes) Ilakkulaccanrar Enadi( Ezha Kula Chanar Enadhi ).

Some of the ancient tamil Soldierly communities like Maravas (soldiers) of Pandiya and Agricultural communities from Chola kingdom mixed with the Kalappalas ( Kalappirar or Kalava ) and became related communities. Shanans, the soldiers of the Pandiyan army who defected to the Kalabhras might have been given Muthiriya Moopar(Shanan) the post of chieftains. Shanan is one of the surnames of Tamil Muthuraja community as per Chola-Mutharayar research center, Tanjore.

Eyinar were the soldiers who guard the remote, isolated forts that are permanently endangered by pirates and MaRavar were stubborn natives who were warriors, conquerors and rulers; including the major Tamil dynasties of Cheras, Cholas and Pandians; again a number of subsects have been formed all over Tamilland from early Maravars) in Paalai.

Interestingly it is not unusual for people of various castes in Andhra Pradesh to name their male children as Yanadi Rao, Yanadi Raju, Yanadi Reddy etc and females as Yanadamma. People of Yanadi [Enadi] community exist even today in Andhra Pradesh although in a very poor socio-economic conditions. It also indiactes some yandis who were able to climb up the social ladder entered into other caste groups such as reddis and may be even Mudirajas.

Enadi = Yenadi = Yanadi

Parts of the Sangam age Tamil country were ruled over by several independent chieftains, along side the three crowned monarchs. Based on the legends some of these coins have been assigned to specific rulers such as Tirukkannan, also known as Malaiyan Choliya Enadi Tirukkannan, and Tirumudi Kari.

A certain male, Enadi Kuttan studies (Manakkan) under a lady Tirumalai Kuratati. It is also seen that men studied under female teachers and females under men. One lady Nalkur Kuratti is mentioned as a student of (Manakkiyar) Amala Nemi Bhatara.

It appears that while Kakatiya kingdom was established by Kaikadi Erukalas, the Chera & Pandya kingdoms were established by Enadis or Eyinars or Nadars.

Eyinars :
A full chapter of the Silappadikaram deals with the worship of goddess Durga by these hunter-tribes [the Eyinars of the Palai, the dry sandy desert of Tamil Nadu] and the chapter itself is titled Vettuvavari, i.e. the hunter song. The entire scene is said to take place in the temple of Aiyai. A lady born of a family of hunters was possessed with divinity and with hair standing on end and her hands raised aloft moved from one place to another, dancing with appropriate gestures. In so dancing she pointed out that their yards are lying empty and the towns of their enemies were prospering with cattle herd because the Eyinars have become subdue and meek and no more resorted to highway robbery but lived like people observing dharma (settled citizens).

Enadi = Eyinan = Eyinar = Archer
The Shanars are called Kaali Puthirar (the sons of Kaali or Bhadrakali, the great Bellona of India), and this goddess is considered as their tutelary deity. Enathi ( Enadi) Natha Nayanar, one of the sixty-three disciples of Siva, is described as having belonged to the Shandrar caste in the Tamil work Periyapuranam and as Sakshikulotbhava in the Sanskrit work

Shandravar => Shandrar => Shandror => Shanar => sanar

The correct form of the name of this race is Shandrar which is derived from a Tamil word Sal. The expressions Shandror and Shandravar are also derived from the same root and are but different forms of Shandrar.

The Eyinars who had to her vow offer the supreme sacrifices to the goddess by cutting off their head and offering the blood coming out of their severed neck. This is called Avippali ([Skt.] Havis-bali). It is also called by some Kuruthippali (blood sacrifice). The Eyinars who offer their head in such a way say that these were their dues to the goddess. The next stage is requesting the Devi to partake this offering which is called Balikkodai ([Skt.] Bali-dana). At the end, all of them pray that the ruler of their country should prosper.

The 'Eyinars' were one of these ancient aboriginal tribes. They disliked calling themselves Tamilians. They were hunters by profession. Later on they became soldiers and farmers. They came to be called 'parayars' around 2 A.D. After India attained Independence, they came to be called 'Adi-dravidars' or 'ancient dravidians' thereby emphasizing the fact that they predated the Dravidians in Thamilakam. At present they have chosen to be addressed as 'Sambavars' meaning 'descendants of Shambu or Shiva'.

Some of the significant sub-divisions of the Eyinars were Valluvar (priests), Kottai (fort), Kottakara (granary), Jambhu and Virabahu (Jambhu is Shiva and Virabahu is one of the mythical commanders of Shiva), Pannikar (teacher), Koliyar and Saliyar (weavers), Kuravar (hillmen) and Ambu (archers). The Eyinars were considered to be excellent archers. These titles indicate the ancient greatness of the Eyinars and also reflect a connection with valour, skill and riches. Obviously, the Eyinars did not do any petty or menial jobs.

As early as the 3rd / 4th Century A.D., the Eyina chieftains were reigning at Ambur, Vellore and other places. They had well supplied granaries (kottakaram) and strong forts (eyil) with deep ditches and tall walls. They had musicians and dancers (paanans) to amuse them when out of work, priests (valluvans), carpenters, masons, weavers (koliyans), gymnastic instructors (pannikars), shoe-makers (semman), barbers, washermen etc. The Parayars (ancient Eyinas) as Dr. Caldwell has observed, thus, constituted "a well defined, distinct ancient caste independent of every other.

The Eyinars, as a whole, however were stubborn and valued their independence and self-respect. They rejected all brahminical customs and manners, which led to a decline in their social status. The main reason for untouchability being imposed upon them appears to be the wont of Parayars to skin cows and eat their flesh.

Enadi stands for of Shanans and Nadars :
The name Enadi for Shanans seems to be derived from Enadi Nayanar, a Saivite saint. At the census, 1901, Tollakkadan (man with a big hole in his ears) was taken as being a sub-caste of Shanan, as the people who returned it, and sell husked rice in Madras, used the title Nadan. Madura and Tinnevelly are eminently the homes of dilated ear-lobes. Some Tamil traders in these two districts, who returned themselves as Pandyan, were classified as Shanans, as Nadan was entered as their title. In Coimbatore, some Shanans, engaged as shop-keepers, have been known to adopt the name of Chetti. In Coimbatore, too, the title Muppan occurs. This title, meaning headman or elder, is also used by the Ambalakaran, Valayan, Sudarman, Senaikkudaiyan, and other castes. In the Tanjore Manual, the Shanans are divided into Tennam, Panam, and Ichcham, according as they tap the cocoanut, palmyra, or wild date (Pkcenix sylvestris).

Nayanar <=> Nayinar<=> Neyainar <=> Eyinar

This term Nayanar is expressed in many ways in historical records, like Nainar, as in the Tamil inscriptions, Nadalwar, Nadavar, Nattathi, Alwar, Aluvan (as in Kerala), Villava, Tiruvadi, Thiruppappu, etc., linking up with more than 250 tribes of the Base society of our land. This link connects us to the Ezhavas or Chovans of Kerala, Shanars of Travancore, the Chouhans and Povars of Maharashtra, the Bants and Poojaris of Mysore, the Sens of Bengal and so forth.

It is said that Nishudu begot the Koravas, Chenchus, Yanadis, and Boyas. The Boyas were his legitimate children, while the others were all illegitimate. According to the legend narrated in the Valmiki Ramayana, when king Vishwamitra quarrelled with the Rishi Vashista, the Kamadenu belonging to the latter grew angry, and shook herself. From her body an army, which included Nishadulu, Turka ( Muhammadans ), and Yevannudu ( Yerukalas ) at once appeared.

Shanans,the soldiers of the Pandiyan army who defected to the Kalabhras might have been given Muthiriya Moopar(Shanan) the post of chieftains. Muthariyars were Kalabhra Kings while Maravars Kalavars were soldiers. When the Kalabhras and Maravas married among the agricultural castes of Chola Nadu a Chola-Kalappala alliance was formed which was hostile to the ancient Pandiyan Nadars throughout the later ages. Sanars ( Shanars ) are also called as Sandars in Jaffna and are well known as Nadar (Natar) in Tamilnadu. Nadar seems to be a recently created terminology by Shanans from the word Nattar or Natar or Nadan which may be slightly a different caste living in the same areas.

Nattavars => Natavars => Nadavars => Nadars
Nattavars=> Nattars => Nadars

The leaders, or thalaivars were called Natars. Natars are the largest caste in Kanya Kumari District. A myth developed about the origins of the community, now known as natars (an honorific form of natans): that their forebears were actually royalty of Kshatriya status, having descended from Pallava Dynasty.

The rulers of Nadu were called Nadalvars. Nadalvars used to be adminsitrators of Pandiyan kingdom who also managed temples residing at Azhvancherrys.Nattars,Nadans were the other titles of rulers. Pandalam,Mavelikkara,Quilon,Kottar etc were minor capitals of Pandiyas directly linking with Tenkasi the Royal house of Pandiyas.

The Nadars who until the last quarter of the 19th century were known as "Shanas" or "Shanars" were originally based in the two southernmost districts of Tamilnadu- Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. The word " Nadar" may have been derived from what many modern Nadars believe to have been the highest of the original Shanar Jatis the Nadans, with the honorific "-ar" ending added. Some Nadars claim that the Nadans were petty local chieftains, who were the heirs of the fallen Pandya dynasty. The fall of the Nadars began afterwards . Tanjore, one of the strong holds of the Tamil Nadars, was defamed. Valamkaimaalai, one of the Palm-Leaf records with the Nadars, speaks about their history. History proves that the major groups of the Nadars were once Jains and Buddhists.

Shanan or Muthiriya Moopar is one of the surnames of Muthuraja in Tamilnadu. This indiactes the presence of the tribesmen of Shanan or Nadar or Eyinars among the present day Muthirajas. Shanars might have intermingled with Jain - Buddhist kalabhras and became part of Muthuraja community after invasion of Chera & Pandyan dynasties by Kalabhras.

The Nadars are the heirs of the fallen ancient pandyas. Considered to be a proud, ancient warrior caste and the initial rulers of the ancient Pandiya Nadu (Pandyan Kingdom). , the Nadars are well known for their bravery throughout the southern part of Tamilnadu. The ancient capital city of Pandiya Nadu, Korkai, is predominantly occupied by the Nadars. After successive invasions from the north by the Kalabhras and other Vadugas on the Pandiyan kingdom, the Nadars were forced out of power and almost became extinct in the 18th century Pandyas. Unlike many other ancient communities who were considered as low castes by the brahmanical classes, they fought back and regained their original status.

The lords of Pandia dynasty were called Maran, Maranadar/Mara Nadalwar.Nattar, Rayan, Nadar, Kshatriya Nadar, Nadan, Nadavaru Nadava, Alwar, etc Karukkupattayathar( Elite guards ),Kodi Marathar(who defend the flag),Sivanthi( Elite Suicidal army ) Panicker( one who trained in Martial arts ) are some other titles. The soldiers were called Chanar (chan=Iron, those who carried iron implements when iron was rare)( Sanar, Shanar) Pullu Kai Chanar are hired soldiers who threw spears. (Pullu = spear or stake). Enadhi were archers etc. Modern Nadar(caste) community descend from all the elements of Pandiyan kingdom from kings, soldiers and slaves. In recent past, Shanars were also treated as untouchbles, may be due to their slavery jobs. The Ezhavas of Alappey district are called Ezhava Shanars may be because of the intermingling with the Nadars of the earlier Pandiyan era. Later, many of these untouchble shanars converted to Christianity.

The community which was known as 'Shanans' till the 19th century came to be known as Nadars. The title Nadar is believed to be derived from the Nadans, the aristocrats and the highest of the old Shanan community. The aristocrats among the Nadars in those days were known as Nadans and the poor among the caste, who did toddy tapping for a living, were known as Shanans. The poor among the Nadars(Shanans) during early times possessed no agricultural lands due to the Nayak invasion. Nadars are believed to be closely related to the Villavars, an ancient Dravidian warrior community which founded many Dravidian kingdoms as Cheran and Pandyan in the prehistory.

According to the Nadar Sangam, "The Nadars who until the last quarter of the 19th century were known as 'Shanas' or 'Shanars' were originally based in the two southernmost districts of Tamilnadu�Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. Prior to the northward migration, the bulk of the Shanar population was concentrated in the arid sandy regions or "Teris" of Tiruchendur in Tirunelveli district. The Shanar economy centered on the palmyra palm, then the only commercially viable crop in the region.

The untouchable cast of toddes tappers and agricultural labourers, originally called shanans, living in the Rammad districts of TamilNadu emerged as a prosperous mercantile community by the end. of the 19th century. This prompted them to improve their status in the social hierarchy. They started calling themselves as the Nadars. In 1910 they formed a 'Nadar Mahajan Sangam' started the process of sanskritiisation by imitating upper caste customs and manner and raised funds, for educational and social activities.

In the late 1800s, when the Shanans agitated for entry into a temple in Sivakasi, the manager first closed the temple. That was considered a partial victory by Shanans and their opponents. Most opposed to Shanan mobility were the Maravans, their near neighbors in space and status. A "clean" caste, the Maravans could enter the temple at Sivakasi.

In the case of the Shanans, the ultimate outcome, for all practical purposes, was to establish a separate subcaste of Nadars, the elite group of Shanans. All ' Nadars ' are Shanars by caste, unless indeed they have abandoned caste, as many of them have by becoming Christians. The Shanars have, as a class, from time immemorial, been devoted to the cultivation of the palmyra palm, and to the collection of the juice, and manufacture of liquor from it.

According to the Nadar Sangam, "The Nadars who until the last quarter of the 19th century were known as 'Shanas' or 'Shanars' were originally based in the two southernmost districts of Tamilnadu�Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.The word 'Nadar' may have been derived from what many modern Nadars believe to have been the highest of the original Shanar Jatis, the Nadans, with the honorific '-ar' ending added. Some Nadars claim that the Nadans were petty local chieftains, who were the heirs of the fallen Pandya dynasty." The Nadar Sangam also claims that "the ancient historian Herodotus tells us that in 400 BC, the Palmyra-Tappers (the Nadars as we call them now) were Valiant Fighters and good Tradesmen, dealing with inter-continental Trade. They made settlements in Syria, and taught the art of writing to the Greeks. They also spread the culture of 'Burial of dead' to the world. They exported processed Palm-Juice (in the chemical form of alcohol) to countries like Egypt, for purification and preservation of the dead-bodies (Mummies)."

Nadars were the descendats of the famous Pandya kings. The Nadars or Shanar (Santor) who are presently considered as one of the backward classes were in a very high position of social status in the early days. They lived from 1529 AD in Madurai, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Sivakasi, Nagercoil and Pollachi. They were known for their culinary expertise and their food was considered special as they had served the Pandya kings who apparently were great fans of the Nadar dishes.The Nadars also use a lot of coconut and coconut oil in their foods.

Nadar a tamil speaking community in the southern parts of India is known for palmyra tapping, and business. Nadars (or) Sanars have a rich culture, tradition and life style. The Nadars, originally known as Shanars, were found principally in the two southern districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. Most of the Nadars, or Shanars as they were called sometimes, in the southern parts of Travancore were impoverished migrants from the areas of present Tirunelveli and Ramnad districts that lay to the east of the Travancore state.

Nadars or shanars are one of the earliest inhabitants of India. Their origin was in the South, known as "Komari Land" probably related to the southern tip of India - Kanya Kumari. There are records which establish their links with the Chaldeans, Syria, Cambodia, Java, Sumatra, China, etc., and it is well established by historians.

Eyinars were actually two lineages of the Veda tribe. One of them - Yavanas traders from Mediterranean. countries. In later history, this word was used to indicate the Greeks and the Arabs, leading to much confusion. Britannica online encyclopedia article on Yavana: in early Indian literature, either a Greek or another foreigner. Hence, the Yavana of Mahabharata could be a colony of the Greeks in the western region of India. The Powerful Pandiyan Navy protected the harbours in the Pandian territories. The Pandiyan ships carried hill produce, spices, sandal wood, Pearls to middle east through Red sea and to Persia and ultimately reaching Rome and Egypt. Eyinars may naot be Yavanas but seems to have some direct or indirect connection to Yavanas.

The ancient historian Herodotus tells us that in 400 BC, the Palmyra-Tappers (the Nadars as we call them now) were Valiant Fighters and good Tradesmen, dealing with inter-Continental Trade. They made settlements in Syria, and taught the art of writing to the Greeks . They also spread the Culture of 'Burial of dead ' to the world. They exported processed Palm-Juice (in the chemical form of Alcohol) to countries like Egypt, for purification and preservation of the dead-bodies (Mummies).

The Shanars are a caste that ". . . occupies a middle position between the Vellalers and their Pariar (Pariah�now an English term) slaves. Their hereditary occupation is that of cultivating and climbing the palmyra palm, the juice of which they boil into a coarse sugar. This is one of those occupations which are restricted by Hindu usage to members of a particular caste. . . . The majority of the Shanars confine themselves to the hard and weary labour appointed to their race; but a considerable number have become cultivators of the soil, as land-owners, or farmers, or are engaged in trade. They may in general be described as belonging to the highest division of the lower classes, or the lowest of the middle classes: poor, but not paupers; rude and unlettered, but by many degrees removed from a savage state.

Caldwell went on to describe their history. He claimed they emigrated from the northern coast of Ceylon, based on similarities in language and customs between the Shanars and the Shandrars of Jaffna (city in North Sri Lanka). Caldwell believed the Shanars entered Tinnevelly via Ramnad (in modern Tamil Nadu), bringing palmyra seeds for planting. It was a strong belief of Caldwell's that the Shanars were not descendants of Brahmanical Hinduism.

In 19th century, Sanar women(nadar community women) were not permitted to wear any dress on their upper body.Their men remained illiterate and uneducated and climbed palm trees to survive.Then one day nadar women started fighting for the right to wear saree.They organized a movement which was called as "thol seelai poorattam.This movement just asked for the rights to wear saree on their shoulders.Uppercastes in kerala and tamilnadu violently opposed this right.Then king of kerala (swathi thirunal's brother) oppressed this movement with an iron fist.Many sanars were killed, burnt and hacked into pieces.Then finally british government intervened and ordered the king to grant that right.So finally the king passed an order permitting that these women can cover their upperbody with a saree,but that dress should be 'different from higher caste women'.

When the sanar become the landlords (dry land lords!) they develop themselves financially, under the guidance and cooperation with the brithish missionary. As the result, more and more numbers of sanars converted into Christianity for getting financial assistance. So the british encourage those sanars to cultivate tobacco and its by products beedy, surutu and cigarette (smoking sticks), mooku poodi (nose powder), cracker (military use), printings (propagation of Christianity through printing notice). This constructive support of british administration continued even in post-independent India, by the courtesy Karmaveerar Kamaraj. So, we may gladly say, "one Pattiveerar Vellaisamy laid a seed for NADAR in british India and another Karmaveerar Kamaraj pour the water to the NADAR plant. The credit goes to these two peoples for the exponential 'prosperity growth' of sanars.

Kamaraj Nadar
Born in 1903 in the town of Virudhunagar in Southern Tamil Nadu, Kamaraj is often referred to as a king maker of Indian politics.Kamaraj's father Kumarasamy Nadar was a coconut merchant while his mother Sivakami Ammal was a housewife. Kamaraj was born into a family of Nadars, the traditional toddy tapping community in Southern Tamil Nadu, and had little formal education.

Shanans are Experts in martial arts - Kalaripayattu
Till the 19th century the martial art, Kalaripayattu, was meant to be practised only by the warrior castes of South India. Marma Ati was a great warfare practised by the Royal Thiruppad Nadans to defeat/kill the enemy without any external injuries. The art was practiced exclusively by Nadars, Kallars and Maravars of Tamil-Nadu and by the Nairs and Ezhavas of Kerala.

Yandis are a branch of Bhils (Villavars).
Villavars [ the archers ] were the primary rulers among the Dravidians who once ruled the whole of India. The Bhils of Rajasthan, The Billavas of Tulunadu [Karnataka], The Villavar Clans of Kerala who founded the Chera Kingdom are all Villavars. Nadars or Nadalvars of Pandyan kingdom Ezhavas or Illavas of Kerala also might be related to Villavar tribe. Yenadis seems to be either a branch or variants of villavars. The dynasties of Bhil Meenas in north and of the Pandyans in the south had the emblem of Fish. Alwar, Alvar, Aluvar or Alva are the titles shared by the Villavar tribes.

Hanuman sped to the Himalayas to obtain the antidote for this snake poison which the arrows were dipped, akin to Curare of the South American Indians, Hanuman of Vannar ( Vanara ) race are today represented by the Shanars - Durawe.

Over 400,000 Yanadi live in the Southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, nearly half of whom live in the coastal district of Nellore. Yenadi is one of the major tribes of Andhra Pradesh. The Yanadi have traditionally preferred a semi-nomadic forest subsistence of hunting, fishing, and gathering nuts, yams, and roots. They tall, dark & thin. Since the British times, the Enadis have been labelled as a 'criminal tribe'. The Yanadi (A criminal tribe of the Deccan

The use of the bow and arrow is much less among the Yanadi, Yerukala and Boya. However, the Yanadi hunt fish in shallow streams and ponds with an arrow having a pointed tip . The Yanadi use variety of traps, nets and cast nets to trap fish.

Enadis today live in small groups called sangham. They are living as hunters and gatherers . The Enadis of village Eetamukkala [Ongole] either catch fish or Birds both for their consumption and for selling.Enadis of Eetamukkala traditionally worship Jalamma [ Jwalamukhi temple at Eetamukkala ] a local female deity. Their marriages are performed by one of the sangham elder exactly at midday. They grout a crow bar and note the time of midday when the crow bar is shadow less.

There is, to this day, a close relationship between the Kurumba, Lambadi, Yenadi, Yerukula and Chenchu tribes and Shri Venkateshwar of Tirupathi. Lord Ayyappan in Kerala and Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu also appear to have tribal links. All these Gods and temples, as also that of Jagannath in Puri, enjoy preeminent status in the classical Hindu pantheon. Kurumba, Korava, Kaikadi and pardhis are variants of bhils.

Yanadis ( Enadis ) of Andhra Pradesh are people related to Eyinars
Enadi are very ancient community. Enadhi or Enadi, Eyinan + Adi (ancient archer) a title used in the ancient Pandyan kingdom indicates the Villavar origins. The Kurumba, Lambadi, Yenadi, Yerukula and Chenchu tribes are intimately linked with Shri Venkateshwar at Tirupathi.

The wife and husband always move together wherever they go, be it hunting or some other activity. Enadis living in the villages and towns and Chenchu tribes living in the forests do have common sir names, Enadis are also called as Vura Chenchu meaning Chenchus living in the villages. According to a Telugu film Chenchu Laxmi , goddess Laxmi takes the form of a Chenchu woman to cool down Narasimha immediately after killing of Hiranya Kasyapa. There is an ancient Fort in the forest on the hill top [Aravalli range] in Zawar [ near Udaipur] which is said to be the fort of Hiranya Kasyapa where he was killed by Narasimha. Bhil tribes live in the Aravalli ranges.

This gives a clue that Chenchus of Andhra Pradesh and Bhils of Rajasthan are the same people.We also know that the Mudirajas are the descendants of bhil - kolis who migrated from Sindhu & Rajastan to South India and they were hunters and fishermen warriors.

Yanadi are a proto-Australoid, Telegu-speaking tribe of hunters and gatherers from Andhra Pradesh. The Yanadis, who dwelt in the jungles, were rarely seen, and were in a state of complete barbarism. They lived on fruits, roots and other jungle produce. They are entirely ignorant of rice and clothing. (Boswell 1873).

"Dr. Topinard, in conjunction with the late Mr. Huxely, in describing the Hindu type divided the Indian peninsula into three strata; The Autraloid Dravidian, the Mongoloid, and the Aryan. The last is regarded as important in terms of quality rather than number. The remmnants of the first are at present time in the mountains of central India under the name of the Ghonds, Bhils, mahairs; and in the South under the name of the Yenadis, Kurumbas, Veddas etc. Its primitive chracteristics are difficult to discover but it can be noted that the Gonds, in culture do not belie their anscestry. They carry their scanty costume with a certain grace but their dirtiness and the tatoo marks on their face have a reppellent effect."

The Yanadis habitats are mostly found on the banks of rivers, lakes, tanks and canals. Their main livelihood is fishing. Besides this they also catch the field rats exclusively for their own consumption purpose.

Yanadis are skilled Shikaris. The Forest Yanadis imitate the cries of animals and birds. He is also a master at driving the game towards a vantagepoint to bring it within bowshot. They were employed by the Rajas (Kings) of Venkatagiri for several years in the past for driving the game so that the Jamindars can do the hunting easily. They are expert fowlers. The animals he usually hunt are "Sambhar deer, wild goat, bear, porcupine, birds, boar, land tortoise, hare, bandy coot and Jerboa rat, lizard, mongoose and fish" (Thurston 1909).

The Enadis are a tribal caste generally found in hills. The Enadi Senchu tribe has given us the legend of Senchulakshmi and Narasimha at Ahobilam. There is a possibility that some members of fierce hill tribe from Andhra were brought to Thanjavur by Nayak kings as soldiers and this area was ear-marked for them. It may also be pointed put the Enadi was a title for army commanders used by the Tamil kings.

Yanadi also hunt flying foxes, jackals, peacock, and they skillfully hunt field rats. They are fond of field rat because they believe that the rat flesh makes them immune to rheumatism, keeps off old age, prevents grey hair, renders the human frame elastic and supple, and enables them to walk erect even in old age" (Raghaviah 1962).

They observe omens before starting for the hunt. To ensure successful hunt they pledge to make offerings to the God of hunt namely 'Katrayudu' (Lord of the jungle).

One of the important food items is honey. They classify honey into four types based on size and location of the honeycomb. They collect the honey with great interest and cooperation. One of the subsects of Kuruba are also professional honey collectors.Yanadis are expert traditional medicine man. "no one knows more then the Yanadi the utility of several herbs whether it be for the kitchen or medicine" (Raghaviah 1962). He is known as a traditional healer for many diseases. The alienation of the Yanadi from forest resources and the resultant loss of Yanadi traditional knowledge is a serious issue. Shanans girls wear necklaces of shell beads like Korava women.

A herbal health drink from its roots is prepared by Yanadi tribe of the area. The plant is a liane, locally called Maredu kommulu or Barre sugnadhi or Maredugaddalu (Telugu). The plant is known as Decalepis hamiltonii Wight & Arn. (Family Asclepiadaceae) is an endemic and endangered plant of Andhra Pradesh. It grows in between the rocks and places where there is thick vegetation. Milky latex is present in the entire plant. Roots are harvested during summer months mostly by the Yanadi tribe of Chittoor district and it is the main source of income to them until the agricultural works resumes.

Yanadis are one of the major scheduled tribes of Andhra Pradesh. Thurston (1909) noted that the people were natives of Sriharikota Island and suggested that they derived their name from the Sanskrit word "Anadi" denoting those whose origin is unknown. Now they are predominantly spread over the districts of Nellore, Chittoor and Prakasham and Nellore districts. Yanadis live in symbiosis with non-tribals.

Sriharikota is an island, situated on the National Highway No.5 to Chennai, Kolkata and a forest �like area to the east of Sullurupet in between Pulicat Lake and Bay of Bengal. The ancient residents of this island were Toorpu Reddis and Challa Yanadis. Who led a primitive way of life. Their staple diet was what Nature bestowed on them � Veduru biyyam (bamboo Manna), honey and different varieties of fruit and their homes were nest � like huts.

Yanadis are broadly divided into four endogamous groups on the basis of occupations and dietary habits. The sub divisions are: (1) Manchi Yanadis or Reddi Yanadis (Cultivators and servants), (2) Adivi Yanadis (those living in forests), (3) Paki Yanadis (Scavengers) and (4) Challa Yanadis (those who collect left out food from leaf plates in the dust bins).

Mahalakshmamma etc. In addition to these, they worship Hindu Gods and Goddesses like Venkateswara, Vinayaka and Rama. They celebrate Hindu festivals such as Sankranthi, Ugadi, Dasara etc.,.

Yanadis are non-vegetarians and eat the meat of rabbit, fowl, goat, sheep fish etc, but abstain from eating beef. Yanadis mainly subsist on agricultural labour. They are traditionally inland fishermen and are also engaged as watchmen to the fields and orchards of farmers. Collection of firewood, rickshaw pulling, rodents catching etc., constitutes secondary occupation of the Yanadis. The Yenadi, who in some parts of Telangana act as village guards, are in status equal to the status of Erukala.

The Yanadis are an indigenous tribe and partly tribal community mainly found in Nellore and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh. Having a roof over their head is quite unusual for the Yanadis, and they are the semi-nomadic tribe. They are divided into two groups namely Manchi Yanadi and Challa Yanadi. The tribe members speak Yanadi language related to Telugu language family.

Yanadi men are good hunters and specialize in trapping hares, rats and leopards. Their main source of income comes from agriculture. Other areas of activity include collecting forest produce, catching frogs and snakes for trade, and gathering honey to sell in the markets. The Yanadis are also known for ferocity, a quality that comes to the fore when an attempt is made to thwart their only source of living.

Some members are semi-nomadic, moving every few years in search of work or good sources of forest products. Yanadis live in cone-shaped huts made of bamboo and palm leaves, grass, or millet stalks, and smooth mud walls. Each settlement of the tribe has a headman, who is strongly respected and obeyed; his word is law.

Around ninety percentages of Yanadis are Hindus. Many festivals are observed in favor of their gods. They love dance and music. Drums and small stringed instruments are their favorite musical instruments.

As per decision of Hon'ble Chief Minister on 9-7-1997 for separate Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) for Yanadis tribe for the districts of Nellore, Chittoor and Prakasham, Governhment have issued orders for preparation of perspective plan for the development of Yanadis living in the Nellore,Chittoor and Prakasham after taking up of base-line survey for sanction of ITDA for Yanadis vide G.O.Rt.No. 1136, Social Welfare (D2) Department,dated 31-12-1997.

The story of the Yanadis, already before the public, is neither full, nor up to date. Their manners and customs are slowly changing, their habits of life are altering. The accounts given of them some thirty years ago are not only inadequate but not quite accurate.

There are the Yanadis, recognized by the Government as a Scheduled Tribe, and whose conditions are often worse than most dalit communities. They go fishing near the shore only with little nets. They dive to get shells. The flesh they sell to the bigger business people and the shell they use for making lime. Their entire livelihoods have been disturbed.

Yanadi have no consciousness of belonging to clans or distinct communities; they lack any binding group feelings and do not take group actions. They have no tribal or group control. They live on the fringes of Hindu society, with only a vague sense of their own racial identity, which means practically nothing to them.

Chenchus of Andhra Pradesh are a variant of Yanadis
Each Yanadi sub-tribe was divided into surnames or house names (intiperlu). In census of 1921, the yanadis returned 56 occupational subdivisions, of which were the Reddi or Chenchu. This indicates that Chenchus are a variant of Yanadis. The Yanadis household Gos is Chenchu Devudu ans Poleramma and Ankamma are worshipped as village dieties. Chenchu or Senchu coud be a modification of Sanchara meaning move or nomadic. They are one of the primitive Sanchara Jatis of India. The people who established Chera dynasty in Kerala are said to be Enadis or Eyinars and this word Chera could have come from this Chencharas tribe.

Devudu = God
Sanchara => Senchara => Chenchara => Chenchu
Sanchara => Senchara => Chenchara => Chara

The Chera is one of the three dynasties dravidiennes of Indian antiquity. Its kings belonged to the tribe of V�navar, perhaps the Vanara ( vanachara ) or populates monkeys of the Rmyana. reign on the Malabar Coast in an area which corresponds at the modern State of Kerala, whose name comes from Keralaputra or wire of Chera.

The Enadis are a tribal caste generally found in hills. The Enadi Senchu tribe has given us the legend of Senchulakshmi and Narasimha at Ahobilam. There is a possibility that some members of fierce hill tribe from Andhra were brought to Thanjavur by Nayak kings as soldiers and this area was ear-marked for them. It may also be pointed put the Enadi was a title for army commanders used by the Tamil kings.

The Chenchus of Andhra Pradesh (formerly Hyderabad) inhabit the hilly country north of the Kistna River, which forms the most northerly extension of the Nallamalai Hills and is generally known as the Amrabad Plateau. The whole of the plateau belongs to the Mahbubnagar District, but a few scattered Chenchus live on the other side of the Dindi River in the district of Nalgonda.

Chenchu is a South Indian language from Andhra Pradesh which is spoken by about 28,754 (1981 census) persons. It is also called as Chenchucoolam, Chenchwar, Chenswar or Choncharu.It is classified as Dravidian, South-Central, Telugu.

The economic system of the Chenchus is primarily one of hunting and gathering. The Chenchus depend on nature for nine-tenths of their food supply. Traditionally Chenchus roamed the jungles, living under trees and in rock shelters. The common food was honey, the roots of trees, plants, and the flesh of animals caught in hunting. A typical day was spent in gathering the fruits and roots to be eaten that day. Gathering may be done in small groups but is still today a solitary activity without cooperation from others. Hunting is also a solitary rather than cooperative effort that rarely produces much game. Hunting is done with bow and arrow, occasionally with a gun. No trapping or snaring is done.

The Chenchus speak a dialect of Telugu interspersed with a number of Urdu words, as do most people of Andhra Pradesh. Increasing exposure to the plains peoples has led the Chenchus to adopt the cult of various deities of the Telugu's Hindu religion.

The vast majority of Chenchus in Andhra Pradesh, South India, live in rural areas and are illiterate agricultural laborers. They are hunters and gatherers who typically reside in settlements of 3-13 small huts under trees near forests and hillocks.

The Chenchus are an aboriginal tribe of the central hill regions of Andhra Pradesh, India. Their traditional way of life has been based on hunting and gathering. Some Chenchus have continued to specialize in collecting forest products for sale to non-tribal people. The Chenchus are referred to as one of the Primitive Tribal Groups that are still dependent on forests and donot cultivate land but hunt for a living.

The Chenchus are a Telugu speaking food-gathering tribe living in the Nallamalai forests of Andhra Pradesh in India spread over the districts of Mahaboobnagar, Kurnool, Prakasam and Guntur. They live in the enclosed space and geography, leading a life of an unbroken continuity. The Nallamalai forests are deciduous and deep. They cover mountain side, and are full of treacherous pathways and dangerous ridges. The Chenchus are undaunted by their natural surroundings and set out to gather food or hunt animals. The bow and arrow and a small knife is all the Chenchus possess to hunt and live. They hunt wild animals like boar and deer, but with the increasing interest in wild life conservation, they are content to hunt small animals like lizards, rabbits and wild birds.

The Chenchus collect jungle products like roots, fruits, tubers, beedi leaf, mohua flower, honey, gum, tamarind and green leaves and make a meagre income of it by selling these to traders and government co-operatives. The Chenchus do not care much for money or material wealth. They have hardly developed any technique of preserving food. Their care for future is marginal as they are used to living on a day-to-day basis.

The Chenchus are a broad exogamous group that is sub-divided into various clans. They follow the ancient system in Hindu tradition of gotras, which represents the lineage and descent of clan members. There are 26 gotras found among the Chenchus and the various clans are identified by their gotra name. They never marry within the gotra or clan and intermarry other clan members. The wife bears the husband's gotra after marriage.

The Chenchus have a strong belief system. They worship their deities with great devotion. Lord Eshwara among them is known as "Lingamayya", and Shakti as "Maisamma" or "Peddamma". The worship of both male and female deities is accompanied by puja during the month of "Sravan", that is from July to August.The ritual of Lord Lingamayya represents the ancient mode of worshipping Lord Shiva. For ages, the Chenchus have been associated with the famous Srisailam temple in Andhra Pradesh situated at the heart of Chenchu land. Lord Mallikarjuna, an incarnation of Lord Shiva fell in love with a young Chenchu maiden by name "Chenchu Laxmi" and married her. The Chenchus believe that they are the descendents of this couple and have a special place and mention in Puranas, temple records and Chronicles. The Chenchus enjoy special privilages at Srisailam temple.

Chenchus are believe that they the descendants of the people of Kruthayuga according to Puranas the ancient scriptures and Vedic chronicle. They are the progeny of the Lord Mallana and Meisamma / Bhramaramba (the River Krishna) of Sreesailam.

Thus says our ancient Puranas about our lineage. Lord Mallana Beget Lord Bhairava. Lord Bhairava begets ��Mareechi. Mareechi begets Kasyapa Prajapathi (father of many clans). Kasyapa Prajapathi begets Hiranya Kasyapa. Hiranya Kasyapa begets Prahalada and Chenchitha. Chenchita was eloped by Singanna made her as his concert, the so called Lord Narasimha one of the incarnations of Lord Vistnu. He made his abode Ahobilam of Yerramala Forest the part of Nallamala of the Krishna River Valley.

Chenchita the concert of Singanna was our Paternal Aunt, made as deity and Lordess along with Lord Narasimha. In the process of Aryanization of Indian Religion and Traditions, Lordess Chenchita and Lord Narasimha are worshiped down through the by the people who follow Vedic religions.

United Nations identified Chenchus as the Indigenous Tribes of the Nallamala Forest of the Krishna River Valley. The Government of India taking special care not to be vanished had notified them as Primitive Tribal Groups.

Inscriptional reference to Enadi
PANDYA INSCRIPTIONS - The Anaimalai Tamil inscription (No. 2) refers to the death of this Maran-Kari and to his younger brother Maran Eyinan alias Pandimangalavisaiyaraiyan succeeding him as a minister. Mahasamanta Murti-Eyinan, another important member of the Vaidya family and a junior contemporary of Maran-Kari, is mentioned as the anatti (ajnapti) in the Madras Museum plates dated in the 17th year of Jatilavarman Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan. He was also known as Viramangalapperaraiyan and enjoyed the epithet Dhiratara. Inscriptions in the cave temple say that Maran Kari, the minister of the Pandya king, started the construction of the temple in 770 A.D., which remained unfinished, either due to his death or due to some other calamity, and was completed by his brother Maran Eyinan later. He also built the Muka Mandapam and consecrated the temple.

Inscriptions of the Ranganathasvamy Temple, Srirangam - Cholas - No. 113- (Page No. 139) -(A. R. No. 38 of 1948-49) -III Prakara, south wall - Records a sale of land at the instance of Valavanarayana Muvendavelar, the Srikaryam officer of the temple to Puravangudaiyan Araiyan Adittadevan alias Enadi Araiyan of Puliyangudi in Kiliyur-nadu for a flower garden to be named Nidiyabharanan-tirunandavanam. The record is dated in the 8th year of the king's reign and the details of the date viz., Makara 25, ba. 8, Monday, Visakham regularly correspond to A.D. 1126, January 18, Monday.

Inscriptions of the Ranganathasvamy Temple, Srirangam - Cholas - No. 114 - (Page No. 141) - (A. R. No. 39 of 1948-49) - III Prakara, south wall - Records the sale of 3� ma of land to Enadi Araiyan (vide No.106 above ) for 8 kasu, by Sandur Magila-ankaradasan and his younger brother who obtained this from Periyakoyilpriyar in exchange for the garden land called Kodal tirunandavanam. The record is dated in the 8th year of the king's reign.

SOUTH INDIAN INSCRIPTIONS - VOLUME XIII - INSCRIPTIONS OF RAJAKESARIVARMAN - No. 301 - (A.R. No. 18 of 1920.) -Tirumalavadi, Udaiyarpalaiyam Taluk, Trichnopoly District.- On the west wall of the central shrine, Vaidyanatha temple. -This records a sale of land tax-free, for three kalanju by Svandi Sendan Kallai, the headman of Vattanarkudi a brahmadeya in Poygai-nadu, to Ayiravan Enadi the headman of Arkkadu in Arkkattu-kurram and the endowment of the same by the latter as devadana to the temple of Mahadeva at Tirumalavadi. An inscription evidently of Aditya I.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 23/07/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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Manne, Mannem, and Mannemala are the surnames that belong to Mudiraj people and it seems thaey are related to each other and modified versions of the one original word Mana. Manne surname can also be seem among Kammas, Reddys, Malas and may be among some other Andhra castes.

Manne indicates the name of a tribe who are closely related to Koyas of Andhra Pradesh. They are could be a variant of koyas. In Chandrapur district of Maharastra these people are known as Mannewar. Most of the WARS in Maharastra are descendants of telugu speaking people but settled in Marathi speaking Maharastra.

Mannem = Forest
Mannem <=> Manne <=> Mane =>Manewada
Mannem <=> Manne => Mannewar
Manne <=> Mannem <=> Mannemala

The MANE is a surname among Kaikadis of Maharastra. For proof, readers may refer to e-mail no.28 in the webpage "UREMAILS" in this website written by Sharad Mane to the webmaster. Sharad Mane is from Kaikadi cate of Maharastra. Kaikadis are the descendants of Kakatiyas who established one of the greatest Hindu - Telugu Kingdom in Deccan India that boldly stood against the onslaught of Muslim invading forces into South India.

The word Mannewar is derived from a Telugu word MANNEM, meaning forest. AS it is said above "war" indicates their Telugu descendancy. The name Mannewars indicate that they were the forest people or descendants of forest people of Telugu speaking lands. Mannewars are commonly called Mannewar Koyas indicating their main class of Koyas. Koya Doras correspond to the Raj-Gonds of the north of the Province and the Mannewar Koyas to the Dhur or 'dust' Gonds. Mannewars are known to slightly inferior to Koya Doras and thus these Mannewars might have belonged to lower strata of Koyas who did not have joined the ruling class like Racha Koyas.

Mannemala = Manne + Mala
Mala = hill
Mannemala = hill covered with forest

Mannewar --A small tribe belonging to the south or Telugu-speaking portion of the Chanda District, where they mustered about 1600 persons in 1911. The home of the tribe is the Hyderabad State, where it numbers 22,000 persons, and the Mannewars are said to have once been dominant over a part of that territory.

The name is derived from a Telugu word mannem, meaning forest, while war is the plural termination in Telugu, Mannewar thus signifying 'the people of the forest.' The tribe appear to be the inferior branch of the Koya Gonds, and they are commonly called Mannewar Koyas as opposed to the Koya Doras or the superior branch, Dora meaning 'lord' or master. The Koya Doras thus correspond to the Raj-Gonds of the north of the Province and the Mannewar Koyas to the Dhur or 'dust' Gonds.

The tribe is divided into three exogamous groups: the Nalugu Velpulu worshipping four gods, the Ayidu Velpulu worshipping five, and the Anu Velpulu six. A man must marry a woman of one of the divisions worshipping a different number of gods from his own, but the Mannewars do not appear to know the names of these gods, and consequently no veneration can be paid to them at present, and they survive solely for the purpose of regulating marriage.

Mannemkonda : Manikonda is one among the places of religious importance in Mahboobnagar district. This place is situated at a distance of 6-km from Devarkadra railway station on the Secunderabad-Dronachellam section of the South Central Railway. As the place was originally a thick forest and the hill on which Lord Venkateswara established Himself was in the heart of the forest, this place is called 'Mannemkonda' ('Mannem' is forest and 'Konda' is hill), 'Manyamkonda' and 'Manikonda'.

Alluri Sitaramaraju was known as Mannem Veerudu. He was a terror to the British rulers in the region of Mannem forests in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. There is one Mannemala village in Chittamuru mandal in Nellore District.

Mane, an obscure tribal leader in Maharashtra politics, shot to fame when he converted to Buddhism last year and made it his mission to bring as many people into the Buddhist fold as possible. For the past one year he has been travelling all over Maharashtra and the neighbouring States spreading the word of social justice among the tribal communities and OBCs and encouraging their members to embrace Buddhism.

The new entrants came from 42 OBCs, such as Valmiki, Charmakar and Matang; and nomadic communities such as Bahurupi, Beldar, Nandiwale and Gopal; and the so-called criminal tribal communities such as Ramoshi, Vadar Kaikadi and Berad. The dramatic reaffirmation of faith revealed the true nature of the rally, marking it clearly as a political event rather than a Dalit-tribal religious meeting.

Vadar Kaikadi => Vadar
Vadar => Vaddar => Vaddera
Vadar => Waddar => Waddera

Waddera is a Telugu community who work in rock - stone mining jobs in ancient times and some of them claim to belong to Valmikis. Some Valmikis claim to be subsect of Mudiraj. In Sironcha, the smelters are a tribe of Mannewars.

Mane => Manne => Mannewar

Lakshman Mane (56), former Legislator (MLC), embraced Buddhism last year with conversion of more than 300 people. He has initiated many people of various tribes like Pardhis, Kaikadis, and Masanjogis. There were people from other states including Andhra Pradesh who came to this Dheeksha to be converted to Buddhism.

Mr. Mane is from a particular tribe called Nomadic Tribe, who do not even own their neither house nor do they have any particular place to live, they do not own any belongings or property for them to live. This very pathetic situation happened because of the barbaric hindu caste system; they were stripped off of the very humanity in the name of caste and were made to wander from one place to another for their living. He is a great writer and literate, some of his books, about 12 books have sold several lakhs of copies in thirteen languages, especially the 1980 autobiographical Upara(outsider) documenting a discrimination ridden childhood and youth born as a Wandering Kaikadi tribe won him a Sahitya Academy award.

Laksman Mane was born into the Kaikadi thieving caste: their assigned role in society is to steal, and this way of life is reinforced by pressure from other members of the community: if they don't bring back stolen food or goods their families will beat them. Meanwhile, even those who do not steal are likely to be blamed whenever a robbery takes place, and the group regularly suffer beatings at the hands of the police. For many years Mane has urged his fellows to abandon 'thievery.'

'The tribal system is like the Buddhist system. We travel from place to place, like the monks, who the Buddha told not to stay in one place for more than three nights. Like them, we live between the village and the country.' The tribals often dwell in squalid hutments on the edge of the villages, very different from the tree-root existence of wandering monks, who received food from the villagers. But the parallel is evocative and itextends to the attitude to property: 'In our community we share everything. If one person gains food or money they share it with everyone else. All of us are equal: there is no social status among us and men and women are equal.'

Mane is deeply inspired by Dr Ambedkar. 'Babasaheb [the name by which Ambedkar's followers address their leader] gave us our rights. He is the father of the nation who framed the constitution that treats us as human beings. The problem is that those in power fail to enforce the constitution. Mane was active in radical political groups such as the Dalit Panthers, but he discovered he Ambedkar's work and became a follower in 1970. Since 1980 he has been an activist and organizer within the community.

Mannewars of Maharastra
Mannewars seems to be recognised as Gonds. The word Gond is said to be derived from Telugu word Konda and hence these people are originally Telugu speaking dravidians having their ancestral origins in Central India. These people could be from hilly forest regions and hence came to be known as Mannewar. Mannewar (Gond) is a forest tribe of India. This community lives in Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

The Manne are a Telugu-speaking subgroup of the Kolams and have forgotten Kolami under the dominance of Telugu culture. In Sironcha, the smelters are a tribe of Mannewars. Sandeep Chavan is a Mannewar from Maharastra. Some Chanas are from Scheduled Caste.

The Gonds have a subdivision called Mannewar, and as "war" is only a Telugu suffix for the plural, the proper name Manne closely resembles Mana. Mana is a Dravidian caste of cultivators and labourers belonging to Chandra district, from which they have spread Nagpur, Bhandara, and Balaghat. Manas were also rulers till Gonds of South India invaded them.

Manne => Mannewar

The suffix "WAR" in the surnames of Maharastrians generally indicates that they are the descendants of originally Telugu speaking people living in Vidarbha region of Maharastra. There is a Mannewar subsect among Telugu Mala community in Andhra Pradesh.

There is evidence that as recent as 100 years ago many interior tribal people who moved out of forests to find sustenance during famines were incorporated as Malas by the caste Hindu cultivators. These people holds the surname as Mannem or Manne. In telugu Mannem means forest area where tribal live.

Konda = Hill
Konda => Gonda => Gond

The word mannewar is derived from the Telugu word mannet meaning jungle or forest and as these people lived in the forest, they are known as Mannewar. The Mannewar, a Telugui speaking people, live in the districts of Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Amaravati, Yeotmal and Nagpur. There is one Mannewar Colony in Anant Nagar part of Nagapur city of Maharastra.

These people are divided into three subgroups (1) Nalugo Velpolu, (2) Ayidu Velpolu, and (3) Aru Velpolu. These groups are exogamous in nature. The people identify themselves at regional level. The Mannewar perceive their distribution in various districts of Vidarbha region as well as in the districts of Osmanabad in Andhra Pradesh. They recall their migration to the Vidarbha region of Maharastra in the historical period when the state of Hyderabad existed under the contral of Nizam Nawab. In Telugu, Nalugo means Four, Ayidu means Five and Aru means Six.

Nalugo = Naalugu = Four = 4
Ayidu = Five = 5
Aaru = Aru = Six = 6

They speak in Telugu among themselves but with others they speak either in Marathi or in Hindi They use the Devnagari script for all practical purposes. The community has been categorised under Scheduled Tribes in Maharastra.

The Mannewars, a tribe allied to the Gonds, perform a rite at the Holi which explains the lighting of the double fire. The Mannewars make an offering of a fowl and some liquor to the ploughshare ... At the Holi feast the Mannewars make two human figures to represent Kami and ...

Manne Doras
Manne Doras are a tribal population of Andhra Pradesh. The Manne Dora are a small tribe inhabiting the north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram. They are also sporadically present in the Srikakulam and East Godavari districts. Interestingly, Manne Dora households are situated mostly around the foothills and in areas adjoining the forest and rarely within the deep forest or in the densely populated plains, unlike the Konda Dora, who inhabit the hills. The Manne Dora economy is based on selling firewood and cultivation in small patches of land around the foothills.

The social organization of Manne Doras is based on exogamous, patrilineal descent group called 'Kulam' in Paderu areas, 'Bamso' in Araku and Kilagada areas and gotram in other areas. The major Kulams are 1) Killo, 2) Matya, 3) Gollari or Hanuman, 4) Rambi, 5) Pangi, 6) Korra and 7) Naga. Though Kulam is exogamous, all the clans do not stand in marriageable relationship. Some of the Clans are considered to be brother clans. Nestam or Goth Band Bar, the traditional bond friendship is in vogue among Manne Doras.

Though marriages by capture, by service and by elopement are also socially accepted modes of acquiring mates, marriage by negotiations is the most common mode of acquiring mates. Levirate and sororate are in practice. The consumption of beef and pork is not traditionally forbidden.They mostly speak Telugu. But those who are living along the border areas of Orissa speak Oriya also.

They worship Jakara Devatha, Ganga Devudu, Sanku Devatha etc., and main festivals they celebrate are Nishani festival, Jakara festival, Nandi Devudu festival, Bodo Devatha festival and Ganga Devudu festival. Besides these, they perform all Kotha festivals.Manne Doras have their own traditional council called "Kula Panchayat" which consists of headman (Kula Pedda) and a few members.

It appears that the name Manne Dora is derived from Manyam Dora, literally "leader of the forest." Thurston (1909) mentioned the Manne Dora as a subgroup of the Konda Dora ("leader of the hills"), but field studies have revealed the existence of substantial social and cultural differences between the two.

Manyam = Forest
Mannevarlu = Forest Tribe
Manyam => Mannem => Manne => Mane

The Manne Dora enjoy a superior social ranking to the Konda Dora. The Konda Dora speak their own dialect and eat beef and pork, whereas the Manne Dora speak the state language, Telugu, and eating beef and pork is a taboo for them. The Manne Dora do not partake of food prepared by the Konda Dora, but the Konda Dora do not observe such taboos.

Among the 32 tribal populations of Andhra Pradesh--constituting 3.8% of the total population of the state--the Manne Dora are a small tribe inhabiting the north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram. They are also sporadically present in the Srikakulam and East Godavari districts. Interestingly, Manne Dora households are situated mostly around the foothills and in areas adjoining the forest and rarely within the deep forest or in the densely populated plains, unlike the Konda Dora, who inhabit the hills.

The Manne Dora economy is based on selling firewood and cultivation in small patches of land around the foothills. Individuals are short statured and slender with dolichocephalic heads, leptorrhine noses, and broad jugomandibular indexes. They have pointed chins and scanty eyebrows and are brown or black in complexion. According to Guha's (1937) classification based on morphological characters, the Manne Dora are classified as Proto-Australoid. This classification, however, may need reexamination because Roychoudhary (1984) did not find any common genetic elements among the Australian aborigines and South Indian tribes.

Mannewars are a subdivision of Gonds
The Gonds have a subdivision called Mannewar, and as "war" is only a Telugu suffix for plural, the proper name Manne closely resembles Mana. Mane surname of Maharastrian Kaikadi Erukalas seems to be a modification of Manne. These Kaikadis are the people related to Telugu Kakatiya kings of Warangal.

The Gonds are originally Telugu speaking Dravidians belonging to Central India. The Telugu language could be a spoken language of many Dravidians tribes of Central and North India before the arrival of Aryans and other alien tribes who came from across Himalayas. Today the archeologists have finally accepted that Sindhi language is a Dravidian language and the script found at ruins of Mahenjodaro resembles to a dravidian language which could be a mixure of present day Telugu & Tamilin South India. It is believed that the name Gond is derived from Telugu word Konda, meaning hill.

Mudi = Great
Kond = Hill
Mudi + Konda => Mudigonda = Great Hill

Konda => Gonda => Gond
Mana => Mane => Manne => Mannewar

The Mana is one of the important tribes of Maharashtra. From the cultural point of view the tribe represents a unique culture which helped them to keep their identity. This very term Mana is a constant reminder that the Mana still constitute a distinct society to which each individual has a strong sense of belonging. The other form of cross-cousin marriage, viz.. the marriage of the brother's son to the sister's daughter is practised by some Gonds and other tribes among whom it is considered as doodh lautna (give back the milk). Certain rituals and traditions of some of the tribes of Gond people in the wild Satpura forests of Betul in Madhya Pradesh, India, which are on the verge of extinction, were noticed.

Mana is a Dravidian caste of cultivators and labourers belonging to Chanda District, from which they have spread to Nagpur, Bhandara, and Balaghat. The origin of the caste is obscure. In the "Chanda settlement report" of 1869 Major Lucie Smith wrote of them : " tradition asserts that prior to the Gond conquest the manas reigned over the country, having their srtongholds at Surajgarh in Ahiri and at Mankgarh in the Manikgarh hills, now of Hyderabad, and that after a troubled rule of two hundred years they fell before the Gonds. In appearance they are of the Gond type, and are strongly and stoutly made; while in character they are hardy, industrious and truthful. Many warlike traditions still linger among them, and doubtless in days gone by they did their duty as good soldiers, but they have long since hung up sword and shield and now rank among the best cultivators of rice in Chanda.

Another local tradition states that a line of Mana princes ruled at Wairagarh. The names of three princess are remembered : Kurumpruhoda, the founder of the line, Surjat Badwaik, who fortified Surjagarh; and Gahilu, who built Manikgarh. As regards the name Mankgarh, it may be mentioned that the tutelary diety of the Nagvansi kings of Bastar, who ruled there before the accession of the present Raj-Gond dynasty in the fourteenth century, was Mank Devi, and it is possible that the chiefs of Wairagarh were connected with the Bastar kings.

Some of the Manas say that they, as well as Gowaris, are offshoots of the Gond tribe, and a local saying to the effect that ' The Gonds, the Gowaris and the Mana eat boiled juari or beans on leaf plates' shows that they are associated together in popular mind.

It is shown in the article on Parja tribe that the Parjas were a class of Gonds or a tribe akin to them, who were dominant in Bastar prior to the later immigration under the ancestors of the present Bastar dynasty. And the most plausible hypothesis as to the past history of the Manas is that they were also the rulers of some tracts of Chanda ( Chandrapur ), and were displaced like Parjas by a Gond invasion from the South India.

In Katol and other towns below Satpura hills, Manas were regularly enlisted as a town guard for repelling the Pindari raids. Their descendats still retain the ancestral matchlocks, and several of them make good use of these as professional Shikaris or hunters. Many of them are employed as servants by land owners and moneylenders for the collection of debts or the protection of crops, and others are proprietors, cultivators and labourers, while a few even lend money on their own account. Manas hols three Zamindari estates in Bhandara and a few villages in Chanda, here they are considered to be good cultivators, but have the reputation as a caste of being very miserly, and though possessed of plenty, living only on the poorest and coarest food. The Mana women are proverbial for the assistance which they render to their husbands in the work of cultivation.

Owing to their general adoption of Maratha customs, the Manas are now commonly regarded as acaste and not a forest tribe, and this view may be accepted. They have two subcastes, the badwaik Manas, or soldiers, and the Khad Manas, who live in the plains and are considered to be of impure descent. Badwaik or the "The great Ones" is a tutilar term applied to a person carrying arms , and assumed by certain Rajputs and also by some of the lower castes.

Bada => Badwaik
Bada = Big = Great
Mudi = Great

Gond , ethnic group in central India. The group is now divided among the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharshtra, and Madhya Pradesh; in Madhya Pradesh there was a small but powerful Gond kingdom until the 18th cent. The Gonds, predominantly Hindu, speak a Dravidian language and are mainly organized into tribes in small villages.

The Gond is the numerically dominant tribe of our country. Their major population is concentrated in the Madhya Pradesh including the recently formed Chhattisgarh State. In the state of newly created Jharkhand, they are found in the district of Ranchi, Palamau and Singhbhum. The Gond Are a Dravidian tribe linguistically, Racially, they belong to Proto-anstraloid stock. There are nearly 50 sub-groups of the gond tribe which inhabit in the States of Madhya Pradesh, chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, gujrat and Jharkhand. They have migrated in Central provinces from south through chanda and Bustar in 14th centry. They had established gond kingdom. They were warriors. They trace their descent from Kshatriya kins.

In India's central belt, Adivasi communities rose to considerable prominence and developed their own ruling clans. The earliest Gond kingdom appears to date from the 10th C and the Gond Rajas were able to maintain a relatively independent existence until the 18th C., although they were compelled to offer nominal allegiance to the Mughal empire. The Garha-Mandla kingdom in the north extended control over most of the upper Narmada valley and the adjacent forest areas. The Deogarh-Nagpur kingdom dominated much of the upper Wainganga valley, while Chanda-Sirpur in the south consisted of territory around Wardha and the confluences of the Wainganga with the Penganga.

Mannevarlu = Kolavars
The Telugu Kolams are known as or Mannevarlu. The. mother tongue of the Hill Kolams is the Dravidian language Kolami. Mannevarlu are classified as kolams under Gonds. Gonds are originally Telugu speaking people and their name is derived from Konda. Konda means hill. So they could be related to Telugu Kinda Doras.

Konda => Gonda => Gond

Kolam is one of twelve primitive tribes reported from Andhra Pradesh mainly distributed in three states of India namely Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The Kolams in Andhra Pradesh are mainly confined to Adilabad district constituting 97.7% of the Kolams population of the state. As per the 1981 census the total population of Kolams in Andhra Pradesh was 21,842. Kolams call themselves Kolavar which means stick orbamboo in their dialect, which has been derived from their livelihood of making baskets, wattles and winnowing fans from bamboo.

Kola = Stick
Aata = Play
Kola + Aata = Kolaata
Kolaata => Kolaatam = A tribal play with sticks

Kolami is a Dravidian language spoken by the Kolam or Kolavar (a scheduled tribe) in India. This language is spoken in the north-western and south-eastern regions of India. The north-western part comprises certain regions of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The south-eastern part includes Adilabad District in Andhra Pradesh and Chandrapur district and Nanded district in Maharashtra. Dialects include Madka-Kinwat, Pulgaon, Wani and Margeon. Kolamboli, Kulme, Kolam, Kolmi and Kolamy are the other names.

The destruction of forests has largely lead to the downfall of the Kolam life-style and indeed the downfall of entire economic basis of Kolam society. The growth of modern urban societies were mainly responsible for the reduction of these great forest people to Scheduled Tribes today.

Unlike Chenchus and Konda Reddis, who speak only Telugu, the Kolams have a language of their own which belongs, like Gondi, to the intermediate group of Dravidian languages. When talking to Gonds or Pardhans, Kolams generally speak Gondi, in which tongue most of them are fluent. In the eastern part of Adilabad District there are some groups of Kolams who have lost their original language and speak Telugu, and some groups in the Kinwat Taluk of Maharashtra speak Marathi. In these cases the loss of the tribal language means that Kolams living in adjoining regions can no longer communicate with each other, for members of the somewhat detribalized groups do not necessarily speak Gondi either.

SOUTH INDIAN INSCRIPTIONS -VOLUME XVI - TELUGU INSCRIPTIONS OF THE VIJAYANAGARA DYNASTY - No. 309 -(A. R. No. 564 of 1915.) -Siddhavatam, Siddhavatam Taluk, Cuddapah District - At the entrance, on the east wall of the old fort - Venkatapati, 1605 A.D. This is dated Saka 1527, (also expressed by Chronogram Asva-ambaka-bana-bhu) Visvavasu, corresponding to 1605 A.D.

It states that the Matla chief Ananta constructed the fortifications round the town of Siddhavatam which had been captured by his father Ellama Raju, after defeating in battle, the chief Kondraju Tirupati Raju. Ananta who belonged to the Devachoda family claims his descent from the solar race. He bore the titles Manne-Hamvira and Rachabebbuli. Among his achievements described at length are mentioned his victory in the battle of Jambulamadaka (i.e., Jammalamadugu) and the capture of Cuttack. He is praised as the right hand of the Karnata emperor (i.e., the Vijayanagara king) and as the author of the Kakutsthavijayamu and other works. He is also stated to have constructed a tank in the name of his father.

The inscription commences with a Sanskrit verse followed by six verses in Telugu. See Sources of Vijayanagara History, pp. 248-50. Published in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXXVII, pp. 103 ff.

Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 27/11/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

Continued ... with more tribes of Mudiraja

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