Our historical Records are as follows that says all sub-caste are same and have same occupation.
1.Tribes of Caste of Central Provinces of India written by R.V.Russell & Hira Lal Volume-2 Page No.502. Edition-1975
2.The Tribes and Castes of the North Western India written by W.Crooke,B.A Volume-3,Page No.92 Edition -1975
3.Tribes & Caste of North West Provinces of Oudh written by W.Crooke Volume-1 Page-431.
4.People Indias Communities written by Shri A.K.Singh Volume-5.
5.An Ethnographical hand book for North West Provinces and Oudh written by W.Crooke Page No.116.
6.Disribution of Kahars according to Census report of 1891.
7. “Garghmandala ke Gondraja”written by R.B.Agarwal.
We have translated few lines from the “Tribes and Caste of North Western India”. We are pleasure to share the history of our community in Hindi to encourage Youth of our community to unite and work for society.
In Sanskrit it means “Skandha-kara” one who carries things on his shoulder. A tribe who engage in cultivation, particularly in connection with growing water nuts etc in tanks, fishing, palanquin carrying ,and domestic service. This variety of occupations renders a complete analysis of the tribe and sub-castes. Kahars are sometimes known as Mahra( Sanskrit means Mahila(Woman)) because they have an entry of the female apartments. Another name for them is Dhimar( Sanskrit means Dhivara-a fisherman)Another name for them is Bhoi which southern India word ( Telgu & Malyalam boyi,Tamil bovi)In other places they are called as Singhariya because they cultivate the Singharanut or water caltrop. At the last Census the Kahars recorded themselves under fifteen sub-castes, they areasBatham,Bot,Dhiuwaror,Kharwar,Mahar,Dhimar,Dhuriya,Gharuk,Jaiswar,Kamkar Mallah,Raikwar,Rawani,Singhariya,Turai.“ From The tribes and Castes of the North Western India –Volume-III “
The Dhuriya sub-caste describe their origin as follows:-Mahadeva and Parvati were returning from the house of Himachal, the father of Parvati, with their luggage on their heads. Seeing his spouse wearied with burden, Mahdeva told her to look behind and hand over her burden to the two men who were following her. These were the two ancestors of the Dhuriya Kahars whom Mahadeva formed out of a handful of dust (dhul,dhur).The Bihar Kahars claim descent from Jarasabdha King of Magadha.The legend is thus told by General Cunningham.When Jarasandha was king he built a tower on the Giriyak hill in Gaya as his sitting place (baithak);here he would sit and lave his feet in the waters of the Panchina below.Close to his sitting place was Bhagwan’s garden ,which in a year of drought was nearly destroyed.Bhagwan accordingly, after fruitless efforts to keep it flourishing ,caused it to be Proclaimed that he would grant his daughter and half his kingdom to him who should succeed in watering his garden plentifully with Ganges, at once came forward and undertook the task; first he built the great embankment to bring the waters of the Bawan Ganga Rivulet to the foot of the hill below the garden ,and began then began lifting it up to successively stages by means of the common native swing basket and rope. When the work was completed Bhagwan repented of his offer and the Piper came forward and offered to assume the form of a cook and crow while Bhagwan was to urge the Kahars to hasten their operations. The Kahars ,hearings the cock crow ,believed that night was over fearing the vengeance of Bhagwan ,fled to the banks of the Ganges at Monkama.Bhagwan next day sent for the Kahars to receive their wages ,but not one of them was to be found. At last he induced some of them to return and gave each of them 31/2 sers of grain. Ever since that period 31/2 sers of grain has been the legitimate wages for a day’s work to Kahars,and actually receive the value of his amount of grain for a day’s work.
Another legend thus accounts for their not taking Brahmans as their spiritual guides( guru).As told in Bareilly ,it describes how the Saint Narada Rishi one day went to Rama in search of Guru. He was told that he would see his appointed Guru next morning .The first person he met next morning was a dhimar fisherman with his net over his shoulder. So Narada saluted him and addressed him as Guru. But when he saw to what caste he belonged he said “How can I have a Kahar as my spiritual guide?” Then the Kahar cursed him with the curse that he should pass through eighty-four lakhs of lives before he attained heaven.Narada was striken with fear and complained to Rama,who would not listen his petition. So Narada made eighty –four lakhs of pictures of animals,snakes,and insects on the ground and rolled his body over them by way of undergoing the required number of transmigrations. He then said to the Kahars “Pardon me and consider yourself my Guru”. From that day the Kahars say that they are Gurus of Brahmans and will not take Brahamans as their Gurus, but accept the services of jogies instead.From The tribes and Castes of the North Western India –Volume-III
“ The Gondia sub-caste is clearly an off-shoot from the Gond Tribes ,but a large population of the whole caste (Kahar) in the Central Provinces is probably derived from the Gond or Kols member of this letter tribes being specially proficient in Palanquin bearers”. From Tribes and Castes in Central Provinces in India By R.V.Russel and R.B.Heeralal Page 502 Para-2).
“There were 89835 Kahars evenly distributed over the district and this total includes (Gond) a sub-division of caste. They are drawers; palanquin bearers, servants and cultivators by occupation and are well known everywhere”.From Disrict Gazetteer Gorakhpur page-99 para-1
The Nishada Kingdom (Sanskrit: niṣāda) was the kingdom of the Nishada Tribe, a tribe of people who the Vedic people considered valour and courageous. Nishadha were scattered peoples, according to source in Hindu mythology.Ekalavya was a king of a Nishada tribe. He attacked Dwaraka once, and was killed by Vasudeva Krishna in the battle. This kingdom was located in Aravalli ranges in Rajasthan state of India, possibly the district named Bhilwara. Other than the kingdom of Ekalavya there were many other Nishada kingdoms.
Nishadha was the kingdom of the celebrated king Nala, who loved and married Damayanti the princess of Vidarbha Kingdom. This kingdom is identified with current day Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh. Nishadha was connected to Dasarna and Kosala as well as with Vidarbha through trade routes.
The main profession of Nishaadas was hunting birds. When a Nishaada had killed one bird from a pair, the other bird was remorseful of its loss and was in pangs of pain, observing this deep pain inspired the sage Valmiki to write the life history of king Rama of Ayodhya and his dutiful wife queen Sita, who lived in separation due to her capture by deceit by the egoistic demon-like king Ravana. This poetic historical record is revered in India as a guide to highest ideals of human-life, is known as the Ramayana, or the record of king Rama's life. In Ramayana, the king of Nishaadas, named Guha, was a very close friend of Rama. He helps Rama and Sita to cross Ganges river.
Damayanti leaving for Nishadha, after her wedding to Nala, Mahabharata .The Mahabharata speaks of Nishaada (or Shabara) as forest hunters. Nishadas were mentioned as tribes that have the hills and the forests for their abode.People who made mother nature their home.They ruled over the hills,plains,land and dominated over the water. They were linked with a king called Vena (See Saraswata Kingdom) . (12,58). Nishadas lived in hamlets (12,328). Connection with the Kuru Dynasty of kings , Kuru Kingdom From Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 94
Samvarana begat upon his wife, Tapati, the daughter of Surya, a son named Kuru. He was installed on the throne by his people. It is after his name that the field called Kurujangala has become so famous in the world. Devoted to asceticism, he made that field (Kurukshetra) sacred by practising asceticism there. Kuru’s wife, Vahini, brought forth five sons, viz., Avikshit, Bhavishyanta, Chaitraratha, Muni and the celebrated Janamejaya (Janamejaya the 2nd). And Avikshit begat Parikshit (Parikshit the 1st) the powerful, Savalaswa, Adhiraja (Dantavaktra was a king of the Adhirajas), Viraja, Salmali of great physical strength, Uchaihsravas, Bhangakara and Jitari the eighth. In the race of these were born, seven mighty car-warriors with Janamejaya (Janamejaya the 3rd) at their head. And unto Parikshit (Parikshit the 1st) were born Kakshasena and Ugrasena, and Chitrasena and Indrasena and Sushena and Bhimasena. And the sons of Janamejaya (Janamejaya the 3rd) were Dhritarashtra (Dhritarashtra the 1st)who was the eldest, and Pandu (Pandu the 1st) and Valhika (Vahlika the 1st), and Nishadha and Jamvunada, and then Kundodara and Padati and then Vasati the eighth.
Among them Dhritarashtra (Dhritarashtra the 1st) became king. And Dhritarashtra (Dhritarashtra the 1st) had eight sons, viz., Kundika, Hasti, Vitarka, Kratha the fifth, Havihsravas, Indrabha, and Bhumanyu, and Dhritarashtra (Dhritarashtra the 1st) had many grandsons, of whom three only were famous. They were, O king, Pratipa, Dharmanetra, Sunetra. Among these three, Pratipa became unrivalled on earth. And, Pratipa begat three sons, viz., Devapi, Santanu, and Valhika (Vahlika the 2nd). The eldest Devapi adopted the ascetism. And the kingdom was obtained by Santanu and Valhika. The history of King Nala of Nishadha , From Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 50
There was a celebrated king among the Nishadhas, named Virasena. He had a son named Nala, versed in the knowledge of virtue and wealth. It hath been heard by us that, that king was deceitfully defeated by Pushkara, and afflicted with calamity, he dwelt in the woods with his spouse Damayanti.Nala to Damayanti, on the roads running through Nishadha Kingdom
From Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 61
These many roads lead to the southern country, passing by (the city of) Avanti and the Rikshavat mountains. This is that mighty mountain called Vindhya; yon, the river Payasvini running seawards, and yonder are the asylums of the ascetics, furnished with various fruit and roots. This road leadeth to the country of the Vidarbhas—and that, to the country of the Kosalas. Beyond these roads to the south is the southern country.’ Addressing Bhima’s daughter, he distressed king Nala spake those words unto Damayanti over and over again. Giriprastha, a place in Nishadha From Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 313
Indra for the purpose of overcoming his foes, dwelt in disguise in the asylum of Giriprastha, in Nishadha and thus attained his end. A Mountain Range named Nishadha ,From Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 6
Stretching from east to west, are these six mountains that extend from the eastern to the western ocean. They are Himavat, Hemakuta, that best of mountains called Nishadha, Nila abounding with stones of lapis lazuli, Sweta white as the moon, and the mountains called Sringavat composed of all kinds of metals. From Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 7
On the south of Nila and the north of Nishadha, there is a huge Jamvu tree that is eternal. From Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 8
On the south of Sweta and the north of Nishadha, is the Varsha (Region or a sub-continent), called Romanaka. The men that are born there are all of white complexion, of good parentage, and handsome features. And the men born there are also all without enemies. On the south of Nishadha is the Varsha called Hiranmaya where is the river called Hiranwati. There liveth the great Garuda. And the people there are all followers of the Yakshas, wealthy, and of handsome features. The men there are endued with great strength and have cheerful hearts. Nishadha, in the list of Kingdoms in Bharata Varsha (Ancient India) From Mahabharata, Book 6, Chapter 9
..........the Pundras, the Bhargas, the Kiratas, the Sudeshnas, and the Yamunas, the Sakas, the Nishadhas, the Anartas, the Nairitas, the Durgalas, the Pratimasyas, the Kuntalas, and the Kusalas; the Tiragrahas, the Ijakas, the Kanyakagunas, the Tilabharas, the Samiras, the Madhumattas,.......... Nishadhas in Kurukshetra War From Mahabharata, Book 7, Chapter 20
Drona sets the troops in Garuda Military Configuration.In the tail of the array stood Vikartana’s son Karna, with his sons, kinsmen and friends, and surrounded by a large force raised from diverse realms, Jayadratha, and Bhimaratha, and Sampati, and the Jays, and the Bhojas, and Bhuminjaya, and Vrisha, and Kratha, and the mighty ruler of the Nishadhas, all accomplished in battle, surrounded by a large host, in the heart of that array. Karna's Military Campaign From Mahabharata, Book 8, Chapter 8
He had subjugated many invincible and mighty foes—the Gandharas, the Madrakas, the Matsyas, the Trigartas, the Tanganas, the Khasas, the Pancalas, the Videhas, the Kulindas, the Kasi-kosalas, the Suhmas, the Angas, the Nishadhas, the Pundras, the Kichakas, the Vatsas, the Kalingas, the Taralas, the Asmakas, and the Rishikas. The different Nishada Kingdoms
Aushmikas, and Nishadas, and Romakas were mentioned as bringing tribute to king Yudhisthira duiring his Rajasuya sacrifice (2,50). Nishada Kingdom of Ekalavya
Ekalavya was the son of Hiranyadhanus, king of the Nishadas (1,134). He came to Hastinapura to join the military school of Drona.Ekalavya's kingdom was the most famous Nishada kingdom during the time of the Pandavas. This kingdom was located in Aravalli ranges in Rajasthan state of India, possibly the district named Bhilwara. This kingdom was visited by Sahadeva during his military campaign to the south, to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice;- Sahadeva, the Kuru warrior, conquered the country of the Nishadas and also the high hill called Gosringa, and that lord of earth called Srenimat (2,30). Nishada and Srenimat were mentioned together again at (5,4).Ekalavya, the king of the Nishadas, always used to challenge Vasudeva Krishna to battle; but he was slain by Krishna in battle (5,48), (7-178,179) (16,6).Arjuna had come to Nishada kingdom of Ekalavya, after the Kurukshetra War, to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Ashwamedha sacrifice.Arjuna proceeded to the dominions of the Nishada king, viz., the son of Ekalavya. The son of Ekalavya received Arjuna in battle. The encounter that took place between the Kuru hero and the Nishadas was furious. Unvanquished in battle, the valiant son of Kunti defeated the Nishada king who proved an obstacle to the sacrifice. Having subjugated the son of Ekalavya, he proceeded towards the southern ocean. (14,83). Nishadas on the banks of Saraswati
This Nishadas were the same as the Sudras who dwelled on the banks of Sarasvati River.
A spot named Vinasana on the banks of Sarasvati River is mentioned as the gate to the kingdom of the Nishadas. There the river is completely dried up and exist as a dry river channel (3,130). Pandavas were led to this place by their guide viz sage Lomasa, during their pilgrimage all over India. Nishada Kingdom in the South India
This kingdom was visited by Sahadeva during his military campaign to the south, to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice;- After defeating the Dandakas (Aurangabad, Maharashtra) the Kuru warrior, Sahadeva vanquished and brought under his subjection numberless kings of the Mlechchha tribe living on the sea coast, and the Nishadas and the cannibals and even the Karnapravarnas, and those tribes also called the Kalamukhas (2,30). This Nishada's battled for the sake of Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War:- The Dravida, the Andhaka, and the Nishada foot-soldiers, urged on by Satyaki, once more rushed towards Karna in that battle (Kurukshetra War) (8,49).
Nishada Kingdom of Manimat
Manimat had his kingdom to the south of Kosala. This kingdom was visited by Bhima during his military campaign to the east, to collect tribute for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice;- After conquering Vatsabhumi Bhima defeated the king of the Bhargas, as also the ruler of the Nishadas viz Manimat and numerous other kings (2,29). This kingdom is possibly the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh. The famous Nishada king named Guha who befriended the Kosala prince Raghava Rama was also was the king of this kingdom. Nishada Kingdom close to Kalinga and Vanga
A prince named Ketumat is mentioned as battling along with the Kalingas against Bhima, in the Kurukshetra War. He was mentioned as the son of the Nishada king. He could be the son of Manimat the Nishada king, who was defeated formerly by Bhima. Ketumat was slain by Bhima along with the Kalinga heroes (6,54).The Kalinga, the Vanga, and the Nishada heroes, riding on elephants were said to attack Arjuna in Kurukshetra War (8,17).Mekalas (a kingdom close to Dakshina Kosala Kingdom, in Chathisgad) and Utkalas (western Orissa), and Kalingas, and Nishadas and Tamraliptakas (south of West Bengal), were mentioned as advancing against Nakula (8,22). The Kalingas, the Vangas, the Angas, the Nishadas and the Magadhas were mentioned together on the Kaurava side at (8,70).
Nishadas in Kurukshetra War,On Pandava Side
Nishadas were mentioned as battling for the sake of Pandavas along with the Pauravakas and Patachcharas; at(6,50). The southern Nishadas were also mentioned in the army of Pandavas (8,49). On Kaurava Side
Nishada prince Ketumat was mentioned who was slain by Bhima along with the Kalinga heroes (6,54). Nishada army was mentioned to fight for the sake of Kauravas at various instances (6-118), (7,44), (8-17,20,22,60,70). Bhima is said to slay a Nishada prince (other than Ketumat) at (8,60). Nishadas as a caste
Its well known that the human civilization took birth from the cult of water. The nishads were the original and the first inhabitants of the human race.Hence they are considered to be fore fore grandfathers of every other race and mankind.The gradual evolution of mankind and human gave birth to other castes,ethnicities and communities.They are the pure people which have mixed during the period of time.The original nishads are considered to be valiant,exuberant,valour,courageous as they are the real sons who arose in the lap of water,the essence of life.In India due to the rigidity of occupation it began to be misbelieved that the people who are engaged in water related occupation only to be nishads but its not so.They are mixed in every caste the brahmins]], kshatriyas,yadavas etc. A Mountain Range named Nishada
A mountain range in ancient India is named Nishada, mentioned along with other mountains like Meru, Mahendra, Malaya, Sweta, Sringavat, Mandara, Nila Dardurna, Chitrakuta, Anjanabha, the Gandhamadana mountains and the sacred Somagiri (13,165). Nishada as a musical note
Shadaja, Rishabha, together with Gandhara, Madhyama, and likewise Panchama; after this should be known Nishada, and then Dhaivata (14,50). The seven original notes are Shadja, Rishabha, Gandhara, Mahdhyama, Panchama, Dhaivata and Nishada (12,183).
The present paper reports the ethnographic profile of Yerukala, a plains tribe living in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. This paper is based on the data collected through various ethnographic techniques in some villages of Narasapuram mandal. The social status of the tribe is very low in rural areas. However, they claim superior status over scheduled castes. It is a patriarchal society. And it possessed a few sub-tribes and several exogamous patrilineages. Uncle-niece marriages and cross cousin marriages are highly preferred. Child marriages are not unusual. And monogamy is common. It is a patriarchal society and patrilocal residence is the norm. People are no vegetarians. Most of the Yerukula people are illiterate. Occupationally, these people have the history of being involved in criminal activities such as burgling and dacoit. However, many of the Yerukulas have changed their occupation. Religion of the Yerukula is animistic and the influence of Hinduism and Christianity is noticed.
Most of the tribal populations live in hilly agency areas, which are clearly demarcated from the plain rural and urban areas, geographically. However, there are some tribes, which live in plain areas. Though there are studies on Andhra tribes, studies on plain tribes are limited. On Yerukula tribe, little ethnographic description is available (Parthasarathy 1988; Radhakrishna 2000; Simhadri 1991; Viswanadha Reddy 2003). These studies are based on Yerukula people living areas other than Godavari region. Hence, the present study was aimed to present the ethnographic profile of Yerukala, a plain tribe living in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
The Yerukulas derive their name from Eruku knowledge or acquaintance. The origin of the tribe tells how ‘renuka’, who came to life with male head, and came to be known as ‘Ellamma’, the patron deity of the tribe. The Yerukala tribe inhabits the south coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh. Yerukula, a vagrant gypsy tribe, is bearing an evil reputation as professional criminals, and now settled as pork sellers, basket makers in Andhra Pradesh. The Yerukula migrated all over the state but basically they are from Prakasam and Krishna districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh. In the Godavari districts, these tribes rear the pigs and sell the pork. Some people depend on basket making and daily laboring while the women wander from village to village as fortune tellers and as tattooists. They speak a mongrel dialect, which appears to be a mixture of Tamil, Telugu and Konkani. Their huts are generally funnel shaped and are made of date mats, twigs, palm leaves and coconut leaves. The men are scantily clothed, wearing a piece of cloth above the loin (gochi) and an old turban on the head. The women wear saris and have brass bangles on both arms.
The Bhoi derive their community name from Bhai(brother).This affectionate mode of address was made by the Rana of Mewar as one of the community members saved the Rana from hunger and thirst once when he lost his inmates in the jungle in a hunting expedition.In course of the time the term Bhai is corrupted to Bhoi.The community has eleven endogamous sub castes which are Raj Bhoi, Kahar Bhoi, Sakarvansi Bhoi, Kashi Mata Bhoi, Dhimwar Bhoi, Machhi Bhoi, Kir Bhoi, Ir Bhoi, Mata Bhoi(Shiv Mata Bhoi), Singaria Bhoi, Kunjdo Bhoi. Mythological they relate their origin from the wishes of Lord Shiva who made two idols-one men and a women. They were given life and married .From the union eleven sons were born representing eleven subcastes of the Bhoi.They are distributed in Udaipur, Jaipur and Chittorgargh districts. They speaks Bagri among themselves. Men can speak Hindi also and use Devnagari script.
The Bhoi are non-vegetarian.Beef is prohibited. Their staple food is maize and wheat. Some times they take rice also. They take pulses like chana(gram), urad, tur, moon, masur, etc.Groundnut oil and mustard oil are their cooking media. They consume seasonal fruits. Milk is taken occasionally. Rice beer and mohua liquor are alcoholic drinks, the Bhoi men consume occasionally. During festivals and ceremonies they prepare some special items. Owing to the influence of the Bhagat movement ,the Bhoi are giving up non-veg foods and alcohol. Among the Bhoi subcastes inter dining is permitted excepting with kunjdo Bhoi. Distinct hierarchy is discernible among the groups depending on the pollution purity concept and nature of the economic pursuits.Raj Bhoi claim the highest position and place the Kunjdo Bhoi at the lowest rung. There are many exogamous clans among them. The clans are equal in social status and has its own deity.Some of the clans are Dahima, Abala, Kekdia, Saktawat, Chandna, etc .In the local social hierarchy the bhoi place themeslf in the middle order below Rajput, Brahman, Bania and above Harijans and tribals.
The Bhoi are an endogamous community. They maintain subcaste endogamy. The marriage age is maintained at eighteen to twenty years for girls and twenty to twenty-five years for boys. Negotiation is the prime mode of selecting a mate. Exchange of brides is preferred to avoid bride-price. The prevalent form of marriage is monogamy. A man may go for second wife in case of having no issue from first wife. Vermilion mark in hair parting is the main symbol of marriage observed by the Bhoi women. Dapa(bride-price)is a precondition of marriage among the Bhoi. Gharjamai system (marriage by service)is practiced in certain cases where bride price is not paid. Rule of residence after marriage is partilocal. Dissolution of marriage occurs in case of maladjustment and adultery offender is punished. Remarriage (nat a) of divorced woman and widowed and widower are permitted. Divorcee woman or widow can not marry a bachelor. But a divorced man or widower may marry a virgin.
Both horizontal and vertical extended families exist among them. The younger brothers joke with elders wives. The movable and immovable properties are inherited in equal shares among the sons. But in case of gharjamai the property is given in the name of the daughter. The eldest son becomes the head of the family. The inter-family linkage is strong. The Bhoi work in the agriculture field, sell the vegetables in the market. Besides, they perform all household jobs. They are kept away of social and political affairs. In the sphere of religious and ritual affairs, women's role is immense.
They have a status lower than that of their men. The Bhoi strictly observe pre-delivery rituals as well as restrictions. The first delivery is mostly done at pear(parent's house).During the seventh of pregnancy the pregnant woman's parent come to fetch her. The mother-in-law perform gosh bharna(lap filling)ceremony. The delivery is done by dai(midwife),They observe sutak(birth pollution)for one and half month. The naming ceremony is performed on tenth day. marriage season starts after Diwali and continues for four months. The saga(engagement) is fixed at an early age. Ten days before the marriage married women (elder brother's wife and such kins) relatives smear the turmeric paste on the bride and groom. The marriage is solemnized by the local Brahman priest at bride's place. The bride and the groom takes seven rounds phera of the sacrificial fire. Then follows kanyadan. The following day the bride is brought to groom's place. Consummation of marriage takes place at groom's house. Immediately after the death of a person all the relatives are informed. The corpse is washed and wrapped in new piece of cloth and carried to the cremation ground. The eldest son puts fire followed by the other relatives. On the third day unburnt bones and ashes are preserved and taken to Beneswar during annual fair for disposal. They observe twelve days asouch(pollution).They maintain thirty seven days restriction on non-vegetarian food. The dead children below two years of age are buried.
The Bhoi are mainly a land owning -community barring a few who subsist on day labour and some have shifted from traditional occupation to tailoring, business and services. Traditionally they were water-carriers, palanquin bearers and vegetable-growers.They sell their products directly in the market. The ayets(Jajman)like Brahman, Nai dai(mid wife) and Kumhars(potters) are paid in grains and vegetables.
The Bhoi have their own caste council(sati panch)at village level, tehsil level as well as at district level. The election is held every three years through secret ballot. This panch settle all types of disputes in the community, organize the members of the community, and rectify the social norms. The statutory panchayat looks after the development programs extended by the government.
The bhoi profess Hindu religion and worship Hindu Gods and goddesses. Every day they worship their family deity Lord Ganesha(Gajanam) with agarbatti (scented camphor stick).Each clan has separately deity. During magi purnima a big fair is held at Beneswer the confluence and of Mahi-Som river. They go there for shradh ceremony. Besides, they visit Puskar fair at Ajmer.They celebrate Diwali, Holi, Rakhshabandhan, Navratri. They have decorative arts on the walls and floors. Bhoi , have folk songs and folk tales.
The Bhoi have socio-economic and political linkage with Bania, Balai, Brahman, Chamar, Bhil, Patel etc.. Water sources, crematorium, school, religious shrines are shared with other communities. They participate in politics in the local and regional levels.
The literacy level in general among Bhoi is low. The parents attitude towards boys's education is favorable while they like their daughters to work at home in the favorable while they like their daughters to work at home in the kitchen and field. The family planning programme is well accepted by them. They use fuelwood, cow dung cake and kerosene oil for cooking purpose.
Reference: Enthoven,R.E.,1920,The Tribes and Castes of Bombay,Bombay:Government central Press,reprint 1975,Delhi:Cosmo Publications,Vol,I.p.181,182,195.