Zitierweise | cite as: Zitierweise | cite as: Amarasiṃha <6./8. Jhdt. n. Chr.>: Nāmaliṅgānuśāsana (Amarakośa) / übersetzt von Alois Payer <1944 - >. -- 2. Dvitīyaṃ kāṇḍam. -- 15. vaiśyavargaḥ (Über Vaiśyas). -- 2. Vers 6 - 15b (Ackerbau I, Ackerbaugeräte). -- Anhang: Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya [যোগেন্দ্রনাথ ভট্টাচার্য্য] über Bauernkasten (1896). -- Fassung vom 2017-05-05. -- URL: http://www.payer.de/amarakosa7/amara215bAnhang.htm
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Bhattacharya, Jogendra Nath [ভট্টাচার্য্য, যোগেন্দ্রনাথ]: Hindu castes and sects : an exposition of the origin of the Hindu caste system and the bearing of the sects towards each other and toward other religious systems. -- Calcutta : Thacker, Spink, 1896. -- 623 S. -- S. 270 - 293
The most important agricultural castes of Northern India are those called Kurmis [कुर्मी] and Kunbis [कुणबी]. They are divided into many sections, which, for practical purposes, are independent castes. But the status of these sections is, generally speaking, the same, and as they all designate themselves as Kurmis or Kunbis, they may be treated as a single caste. The derivation of their name is not very clear. It may be traceable to some aboriginal language, or to an abbreviated form of the Sanskrit compound Krishi Karmi [कृषिकर्मिन्], which means an agriculturist.
The Kurmi population of India is very large, the total exceeding ten millions. They are distributed as follows: —
|N. -W. Provinces||2,035,768|
|Hyderabad [حیدر آباد]||1,233,930|
There are no Kurmis in Bengal [বঙ্গ] proper or Punjab [ਪੰਜਾਬ]. Taking a bird’s-eye view of the ethnology of Northern India, it would appear that the principal elements in the rural population of the country are the
and that the
though numerically very strong, constitute only its town population. From this fact, and from the ethnological difference between the two groups,* the conclusion seems reasonable that the Kurmis, Gopas, Kaibartas and Chamars had occupied the country at a very early period; and that the higher castes subsequently settled among them as conquerors, merchants or priests.
* See Dalton’s Ethnology of Bengal, p. 320; see also Campbell’s Ethnology of India.
The Kurmis, Gopas and Kaibartas are neither pure non-Aryans nor pure Aryans. But their features clearly show that they are a mixed race, having a very large share of Aryan blood. There are the following sub-divisions among the Kurmis: —
The religion of the Kurmis in Behar [बिहार] is the same as that of the other local Sudra [शूद्र] castes. They offer worship to the gods of the Hindu pantheon, and also to such local deities as Sokha [सोखा बाबा] , Sambhu Nath [शंभूनाथ], Goriya, &c. The majority of them are, however, mainly followers of Kabir [कबीर, 1440 - 1518] and Ramanand [रामानन्द, 14. Jhdt]. Some of the Kurmis worship also the Mahomedan saints called Panch Piriya [पंच पीर].
The altar of the Panch Piriya [पंच पीर] consisting of a platform of earth, is erected outside the dwelling-house. A Mahomedan priest officiates at the worship, and the animal offered is sacrificed in the usual method of the Mahomedans. If a fowl is sacrificed, it is taken away by the priest. Sometimes castrated goats and pigeons are offered, and these, after their jabai [জবাই/जवाई] or ceremonial slaughter, according to Mahomedan ritual, are eaten by the votaries. In accordance with vows previously made for the health of children or some other similar object, the Kurmis of Behar sometimes celebrate also the Mahomedan Maharam [मुहर्रम] festival.
Some of the Kurmis eat fowls and field rats; but they do not eat pork or beef, and are generally regarded as clean Sudras [शूद्र]. The ordinary Sudra Yajaka [शूद्रयाजक] Brahmans minister to them as priests, and they are deemed by the highest castes as eligible for domestic service.
The Kurmis are an illiterate class. But they make good soldiers, and there are many big landholders among them. The poor and landless members of the caste live chiefly by domestic service.
The Kurmis have no peculiar surnames. But when any one of them attains such wealth or position as to be respected by the local people, he would add to his one or other of the following adjuncts: —
In almost all the sub-castes of the Kurmis, excepting the Ayodhya Bansi [अयोध्यावंशी], Ghamela [घमेल] and Kochaisa, a widow is allowed to remarry. If she marry a younger brother or cousin of her late husband, she cannot forfeit her claim to a share of her husband’s estate, or her right to the guardianship of her children. If she marry an outsider, these rights are forfeited. Divorce is permitted among the Kurmis, and a divorced wife may marry again in the same manner as a widow.
The Kurmis of Northern India usually employ a Brahman to officiate as priest at their marriages. In Chota Nagpore [छोटा नागपुर] and Orissa [ଓଡ଼ିଶା], the practice is different. There the work of the priest, on such occasions, is done by some elderly member of the house or by the Laya of the village.
The Kurmis burn their dead, and perform their shrads [श्रद्धा] in the same manner as other high caste Sudras [शूद्र]. The period for which they observe mourning varies according to local practice, from ten days to thirty days.
The Kurmis [कुर्मी] and Koeris [कोइरी] differ in nothing except that the former are producers of the agricultural staples, while kitchen gardening is the speciality of the latter. In the vicinity of the large towns in Northern India, the Koeris raise the fruits and kitchen vegetables required for local consumption. They take a part also in rearing tobacco, opium, and other agricultural stuffs requiring more care and skill than the staple crops. They never serve in a menial capacity.
The caste status of the Koeris is similar to that of the Kurmis. In the matter of food, the majority of both these castes conform to the rules laid down in the Shastras [शास्त्र]. But it is said that, like some classes of the Kurmis, fowls and field rats are eaten by some of the Koeris also.
The Sudra Yajaka [शूद्रयाजक] Brahmans of all classes minister to the Koeris as priests. The majority of the Koeris are Sivites [शैव] and Saktas [शाक्त], and there are not many Vaishnavas [वैष्णव]among them. They are regarded as a clean Sudra [शूद्र] caste, and the Brahmans will take drinking water from their hands without any hesitation. The Koeris will eat both kachi and pakki food cooked by a Brahman; but will not eat the leavings of a Brahman’s plate as the Shastras inculcate the Sudras to do, and is practically done by many of the better Sudra clans.
The Koeris are quite as illiterate as the Kurmis. The Koeris are very numerous in Behar [बिहार], and are found also in the N. -W. Provinces. Their total numerical strength is nearly one and three quarters of a million.
In almost every part of Northern and Western India there are tribes called Malis [माली] who are devoted mainly to the kind of agriculture practised by the Koeris [कोइरी]. Their numerical strength is very considerable, as will appear from the following figures taken from the last Census report: —
|N. -W. Provinces||270,719|
The Malis [माली] are supposed to derive their name from the Sanskrit word “mala” [माला] which means garland. But there does not appear any reason why the name of the agricultural Malis should have had such an origin. The flower-supplying Malis form a vary small community, and it does not seem probable that the agricultural Malis were originally flower-suppliers. It seems more probable that the florists, who are called Phul Mali [फूल माली] in the N. -W. Provinces, are a section of the great Mali tribe whose primary occupation is agriculture. The flower-supplying Malis are found chiefly in the large towns, and in the vicinity of the leading public shrines. Flowers of various kinds, and the leaves of the basil and the wood-apple being indispensable to every Hindu for the worship of his gods, every member of the higher castes has generally a garden attached to his dwelling-house. If he have no such garden, he has to buy the requisites from a Mali, or to procure them from the garden of a neighbour. In the vicinity of the sacred shrines the demand for flowers, garlands and the sacred leaves enables the Mali to carry on a brisk and profitable trade. The Malis of Bengal [বঙ্গ] are also the manufacturers of the tinsel with which the clay idols are usually decorated. They are likewise suppliers of pyrotechnic works, and the tinsel crown which a Hindu has to wear at the time of marriage. The Malis are an illiterate class. They are a clean caste. The Malis of the Central Provinces and Berar [वर्हाड] are very skilful cultivators. They eat flesh and drink spirits.
The Kachis [काछी] are found chiefly in the central districts of Northern India. They are very much like the Koeris [कोइरी]. They are very good cultivators. There are many sub-divisions among them, as, for instance, the following: —
The Kachis number 1, 384, 222 persons distributed as stated in the following table: —
|N. -W. Provinces||706,530|
These figures do not, it seems, include the Muraos who were separately enumerated at the last Census. The Muraos number 677, 982 persons, and are found only in the United Provinces. The Kachis are very numerous between Rai Bareli [रायबरेली] and Kanoj [कन्नौज].
Like the Kachis [काछी], the Lodhas [लोधा] are found chiefly in the central districts of Northern India. They are distributed as shown in the following table: —
|N. -W. Provinces||1,065,025|
|Central India||252, 658|
The caste status of the Lodhas is somewhat lower than that of the Kurmis [कुर्मी]. Like the other agricultural castes they are mostly illiterate. There are a few landholders among them. The following are the names of their principal sub-divisions: —
The Lodhis [लोधी] are a different tribe. They are to be found in Jhansi [झाँसी], Lalitpore Sagor [ललितपुर सागर], Damoh [दमोह], and Hosungabad [होशंगाबाद]. The Lodhis are very turbulent and revengeful and are very unlike the peaceable Kurmis. The principal landowners of the district of Damoh [दमोह] are Lodhis.
The Chasa Kaibartas [চাষ কৈবর্ত] of Bengal form an important section of its rural population. In the district of Midnapore [মেদিনীপুর] they may be reckoned among the local aristocracy. In the other districts where they are found their position is only next to that of the Kayasthas [কাযস্থা]. The designation of Kaibarta is applicable to four distinct classes having different occupations. Of these the Chasas [চাষ] and the Lakhinarayans [লক্ষ্মীনারায়ন] of Midnapore [মেদিনীপুর] are the most numerous, and have the highest position. The Jalias [জেলে] who are fishermen, and the Tutias who are mulberry growers, and devoted chiefly to sericulture, are treated as unclean castes. The Chasa and Lakhinarayan Kaibartas are regarded as very nearly clean.
In the Tumlok [তমলুক] and Contai [কাঁথি] sub-divisions of the Midnapore [মেদিনীপুর] District, where the number of high caste Brahmans and Kayasthas [কাযস্থ] is very small, the Kaibartas may be said to form the upper layer of the local population. A great many of them are zemindars and holders of substantial tenures. They were a very well-to-do class until recently, but they have become very much depressed by the abolition of the manufacture of salt in the district since the year 1861 This measure, which has brought about the ruin of one of the most ancient industries in the country, was adopted in accordance with the demands of an agitation which had been got up in England by English ship-owners and merchants. They represented that the East India Company were shamefully oppressing the people by making a monopoly of such a necessity of human life as salt. The word ‘monopoly’ being a bugbear to English people, they were easily deceived, and the agitationists, finding sympathy from the Press and the Church, could not fail to secure their object. As a matter of fact, the monopoly system on which salt was manufactured by the East India Company, since the days of [Robert] Clive [1725 - 1774] whose genius first adopted it, was a boon to the country; and its abolition has not been productive of any good to any class of Indian people, though it has been highly beneficial to English ship-owners and salt merchants. Now that the principle of Free Trade is about to divert the salt trade of Bengal so as to mainly benefit Germany and Arabia, it is to be hoped that the question may be reconsidered, and the monopoly re-established on its ancient footing.
In the Metropolitan districts of Nadiya [নদীয়া] and Twenty-Four Pergunnahs [২৪-পরগনা], the Kaibartas form the lower layer of the middle classes. In the former district they may be now said to have even a higher position. In the palmy days of indigo cultivation there, many of the local Kaibartas obtained those ministerial employments in the factories of the English planters which were very lucrative, but were too risky to have much attraction for Brahmans and Kayasthas. By the practice of every kind of oppression to compel the ryots to cultivate indigo, the Kaibarta employees of the English factors made themselves the greatest favourites with their masters. To such an extent was this the case that in the drama called Indigo Mirror [নীল দর্পন, 1858/59 / von Dinabandhu Mitra - দীনবন্ধু মিত্র, 1829 – 1873]—for the translation of which the philanthropic English missionary, Mr. [James] Long [1814 - 1887], was sentenced to suffer incarceration as a criminal— a Kayastha Dewan of an indigo planter is made to brag before his master by saying that, although of the writer caste by birth, he was qualified and prepared to render the very same kind of service as a Kewat. The planters have been ruined chiefly by the litigation in which they involved themselves. But the descendants of their employees are generally in very easy circumstances. Some of them are now big landholders, while, with their ancestral reputation for oppressing the people, and their willingness to run the risk of criminal prosecutions, a good many of them are able to secure high offices in the service of those parvenu zemindars who seek to improve their rent-rolls by the simple method of forcibly evicting the freeholders and permanent tenants from their lands. Some of the Kaibartas of Nadiya [নদীয়া] have of late been competing for University distinctions, and have attained also high offices in the service of Government. In Calcutta the millionaire Marh family of Jaun Bazar are of the Kaibarta caste. They possess very valuable house property in the town, and also extensive zemindaries in the interior of the country.
The Kaibarta population of India is very large, the total being more than three millions. The Midnapore [মেদিনীপুর] Kaibartas have the following surnames: —
The usual surnames of the Nadiya [নদীয়া] Kaibartas are
Marh, as a surname, is not very common either in Midnapore or in Nadiya.
In the Census reports and in Mr. Risley’s Tribes and Castes of Bengal a distinction is made between Kaibartas and Kewats. As a matter of fact, the name Kewat is only a corrupted form of Kaibarta, and is applied to designate them only when the speaker’s contempt for them is meant to be implied.
Though regarded as somewhat unclean, yet in Bengal and in Tirhoot [तिरहुत] also, the poorer Kaibartas are now and then to be found employed as domestic servants in the households of the higher castes. The Kaibartas have special Brahmans, but in Midnapore the ordinary Sudra Yajaka [শূদ্রযাজক] Brahmans minister to them as priests in all ceremonies excepting Sradha [শ্রদ্ধা].
The majority of the actual tillers of the soil in Bengal are Mahomedans. The only Hindu castes in Bengal proper that are chiefly devoted to agriculture are the following: —
Of these, the Aguris [আগুরী] and the Koch [কোচ] have been spoken of already in the chapters devoted to the military castes.
The Sadgopas [সদগোপ] are a small community, their total population being slightly above half a million. They are found chiefly in the districts of Burdwan [বর্ধমান], Midnapore [মেদিনীপুর], Hooghly [হুগলী], Nadiya [নদীয়া], Twenty-Four Pergunnahs [২৪-পরগনা] and Bankoora [বাঁকুড়া]. The majority of them live by agriculture or menial service, but there are among them many big landholders and men of culture. Among the Sadgopa zemindars the names best known are the following: —
Of the Sadgopas who have attained high offices in the service of Government, the following may be mentioned here: —
The most distinguished member of the Sadgopa community is the well-known Dr. Mahendra Lall Sarkar [মহেন্দ্রলাল সরকার, 1833–1904] of Calcutta [কলকাতা], the founder of the Indian Science Association. He is not only one of the best physicians in India, but stands in the foremost rank of Indian scholars and publicists. For several years he has been a member of the Bengal Legislative Council, and a leading member of the Syndicate of the Calcutta University.
The Sadgopas have representatives also in what may be called the prophetic trade, which requires neither learning nor culture, but only a little shrewdness. Next to Chaitanya [চৈতন্য, 1486 - 1533], the most successful of the latter-day prophets of Bengal was a Sadgopa of Ghoshpara [ঘোষ পাড়া]. An account of the sect founded by him is given in another part of this work.
As usual the Sadgopas are divided into Kulins [কুলিন] and Maulika [মৌলিক]. Their sub-sections and surnames are as stated below: —
The chief agricultural castes of the Central Provinces are the following: —
The biggest tenure-holders are the Kunbis [कुणबी], Telis [तेली] and Malis [माली]. The Puars [पवार] are celebrated for their skill in the construction of reservoirs of water and aqueducts. The Telis are the best agriculturists.
In the Central Provinces the Lodhas [लोधा] are found chiefly in Hosungabad [होशंगाबाद].
The Lodhis [लोधी] are a distinct caste. They are very good agriculturists and are found chiefly in Jabbalpore [जबलपुर], Saugor [सागर], Narsingpore [नरसिंहपूर], Hosungabad [होशंगाबाद], Bhandara [भंडारा], Chindwara [छिन्दवाड़ा], and Damoli.
The population of the principal agricultural tribe of the Central Provinces is as stated below: —
The Teli’s [तेली] proper profession is the manufacture of oil. But the majority of the Telis of the Central Province are engaged in agricultural pursuits. There are many big Teli landholders in the districts near Nagpore [नागपूर] and Raipore [रायपुर].
The Koltas are found chiefly near Sambalpore.
The chief agricultural castes of the Punjab [ਪੰਜਾਬ] are the Jats [ਜੱਟ] and the Kambohs [ਕੰਬੋ]. An account of the Jats has been given already. The Kambohs [ਕੰਬੋ] have two divisions among them: one practising agriculture, and the other making and selling confectionery. The latter take the sacred thread, but the former do not.
In the Census Reports, the Arrains [ਅਰਾਈਂ], Sainis [સૈની] and Ghiraths are included among the agricultural castes of the Panjab.
The Arrains [ਅਰਾਈਂ] are mainly kitchen gardeners like the Koeris and Kachis of Northern India. Most of the Arrains are now Mahomedans.
The Sainis [સૈની] are sellers of fodder, and the Ghiraths are a mountain tribe who are employed generally as domestic servants.
In the Punjab some of the Sarswat [ਸਾਰਸ੍ਵਤ] Brahmans till the soil with their own hands.
Among the agricultural classes of the province must be included also the Tagus who profess to be a section of the Gour [गौड़] Brahmans.
For an account of these Tagus see p. 53, ante. The total population of each of the chief agricultural castes in the Punjab is as stated below: —
The agricultural castes of the Telegu country* are the following: —
* As to the geographical boundaries.. of the Telegu country, see p. 98, ante.
These are all high caste Sudras [శూద్రులు]. They enlist in the army as common soldiers.
The Reddis [రెడ్డ] at one time were the rulers of the country. Most of the Paligars [పాలెగాళ్లు] belong to one or other of the agricultural castes mentioned above.
Bam Dev Rao Nagama Naidu, zemindar of Vallura in the Krishna [కృష్ణా] District, is a Telega.
Yarlagada Unkinira, zemindar of Salla Palli in the same district, is a Kamma Varu [కమ్మవారు].
The zemindars of Vanaparti [వనపర్తి] and Yadwal in the Nizam’s [نظام الملك] Dominions are Reddi Varus [రెడ్డవారి].
The zemindars of Venkatagiri [వెంకటగిరి], Noozbid, Pittapur and Bobili [బొబ్బిలి] belong to the Vellamma caste [వెలమవారు].
The agricultural Sudra [శూద్రులు] castes mentioned above follow the local Ksatriyas [క్షత్రియులు] in all matters relating to religion and diet. They eat almost every kind of meat excepting beef. They also drink spirituous liquors, though in privacy, and with great moderation.
The most important of the agricultural castes of Mysore [ಮೈಸೂರು] are
The Vakkaligas have many sub-divisions among them, of which the following are the most important: —
The Tigalas [ತಿಗಳ] are of Tamil origin.
Besides these there are some classes of cultivators called Lingaits [ಲಿಂಗಾಯತ], though they are not all followers of the Basavite [ಬಸವಣ್ಣ, 1134 - 1196] faith, but have among them Vaishnavas [ವೈಷ್ಣವ], Saivas [ಶೈವ] and Jains [ಜೈನ].
The classes that serve as agricultural labourers in Mysore [ಮೈಸೂರು] are called
The Halayas of Mysore correspond to the Parias [பறையர்] of the Dravira country [திராவிட நாடு]. The status of the Huttalu and Mannalu is very much like that of slaves, the former being the hereditary servitors of their masters, and the latter being serfs attached to the soil, and changing hands with it.
The total number of Vakkaligas [ಒಕ್ಕಲಿಗ] in Mysore is 1,286,217, and that of the agricultural Lingaits [ಲಿಂಗಾಯತ] in the State 291,857.
In the Dravira country [திராவிட நாடு] agriculture is practised chiefly by the
These have been described already, the first two as writer castes, and the last two as semi-military castes. Besides these there are many other castes whose principal occupation is agriculture. Of these the most important are the following: —
With regard to the Kavaris [கவரை], Mr. Sherring gives the following account: —
This is a very extensive tribe with at least eighteen branches, some of which are so important and numerous as to deserve to rank as separate tribes. The Kavaris were originally devoted entirely to agriculture, in the capacity of landowners, while their lands were cultivated by inferior races; but, although most are still engaged in their hereditary callings, uniting with it the tilling of the soil, there are several clans which pursue other avocations, and are sailors, small traders, pedlars and the like. They are properly a Telegu people, which language nearly all of them speak, yet some having settled in the ‘ Tamil’ country, now carry on the business of life in the latter tongue. Two branches of the Kavari tribe are the following: —
- The Baligis [பலிஜா]—chiefly petty trailers, hawkers, and so forth.
- The Tottiyars—Tottiyans or Kambalattars.
The Tottiyars are said to be split up into nine clans, differing considerably from one another. They are very industrious and energetic as cultivators, and in other pursuits many of them occupy an important position in the city of Madras [மதராஸ்].
Several clans of Tottiyars entered the District of Madura [மதுரை] as colonists four or five hundred years ago, where they have distinguished themselves as agriculturists, especially in reclaiming waste lands. They are fond of cock-fighting and hunting, and have a character for dissoluteness beyond that of other castes. The worship of Vishnu [திருமால்] is popular among them, and they have great reverence for relics, are very superstitious, and are peculiarly addicted to the practice of magic. The people generally regard them with awe, because of their mystical rites, which are said to be singularly successful in curing snake-bites. In feature, the Tottiyars have a distinctiveness of their own, separating them in a marked manner from neighbouring tribes. The men wear a bright coloured head-dress, and the women cover themselves with ornaments, neglecting to cover the upper part of their persons. The marriage ceremonies of the Tottiyars are curious. Polyandry in reality, though not professedly, is practised by them. They never consult Brahmans, as they have their own spiritual guides, called Kodangi Nayakkans, who direct their religious ceremonies, preside at their feasts, cast their horoscopes, and enjoy many privileges in return, some of which are not of the most reputable character.
The Kapilians are a respectable class of Canarese cultivators. With regard to the Vannias or Pullis, the following observations are to he found in the Madras Census Report for 1871: —
Before the British occupation of the country, they were slaves to the Vellalar [திராவிட நாடு] and Brahman cultivators; but a large number of them are now cultivators on their own account, or else work the lands of the higher castes on a system of sharing half the net produce with the proprietors. Others are simply labourers; and many of them by taking advances from their employers, are still practically serfs of the soil, and unable to extricate themselves from the bondage of the landlord. In all respects, these people have the characteristics of aboriginal tribes. As a rule, they are a very dark-skinned race, but good field labourers, excellent farm servants and cultivators. They abound largely in the Tamil Districts of Trichnapoli [திருச்சிராப்பள்ளி] and Tanjore [தஞ்சாவூர்]. —The Madras Census Report for 1871, Vol. I, p. 157.
Of the several classes of agricultural labourers in the Dravira country [திராவிட நாடு], the most important are the Pallans [மள்ளர்]. Regarding these the following description is given in Nelson’s Madura Manual: —
Their principal occupation is ploughing the lands of more fortunate Tamils. Though nominally free, they are usually slaves in almost every sense of the word, earning by the sweat of their brow a bare handful of grain to stay the pangs of hunger, and a rag with which to partly cover their nakedness. They are to be found in almost every village, toiling and moiling for the benefit of Vellalars [திராவிட நாடு] and others, and with the Pariahs [பறையர்] doing patiently nearly all the hard and dirty work that has to be done. Personal contact with them is carefully avoided by all respectable men; and they are never permitted to dwell within the limits of a village; but their huts form a small detached hamlet, removed to a considerable distance from the houses of the respectable inhabitants, and barely separated from that of the Pariahs. —Nelson’s Madura Manual, Part II, p. 58.
The palm cultivators of the Dravira country [திராவிட நாடு] are the todi-drawing castes, namely, the
For an account of them see page 259 et seq.
The Oddars are an aboriginal race. They serve as agricultural labourers and also as navvies. They profess to be worshippers of Vishnu [திருமால்] and bear upon their breasts the trident marks of that deity. But they drink spirits and eat pork and field rats. They are very industrious, and work readily with their wives. Polygamy is largely practised by them. Divorces are very frequent in their community.
The Upparavas are properly cultivators, but are employed in the manufacture of salt and saltpetre.
The Baruji [ बारूजी] or Barui [बारूई] grow the aromatic betel leaf which Indians of all classes, including both Hindus and Mahomedans, chew in combination with certain spices. The leaves are made into little packets, the inside being painted with slaked lime mixed with catechu, and filled with chips of areca nut, coriander seeds, cardamom, mace and cinnamon. When filled the open end of the packet is fastened with a clove. When chewed in this form the lime and the catechu serve to give a red colour to the lips, while the spices give fragrance to the mouth. The price of the betel leaf varies, according to quality, from half-a-dozen to more than a hundred to the pice. The price of readymade packets is usually five to the pice. Every native of India who can afford to do so will chew at least half-a-dozen pan packets every day, while some are so fond of this little luxury that they cannot do without at least one hundred in a day. The largest number are chewed after meals and at bed-time. In ceremonial assemblies held by the Indian princes and high functionaries, pan and attar are given to the guests at the end of such meetings. When a relative or familiar friend pays a visit to the house of a Hindu or Mahomedan, the pan salver and the smoking pipe are indispensable for showing due courtesy. When the visit is of a very formal nature, or when the host is a Mahomedan and the guest a Hindu, then spices are offered instead of pan.
In some parts of India, as, for instance, Upper Assam [অসম] and the southern parts of the Madras [மதராஸ்] Presidency, the betel leaf grows in the open air as a creeper to the areca nut palm, or to bamboo posts set up in their midst. In these parts of the country, there is no such caste as Baruji; but throughout the greater part of India, the pan [पान] creeper requires very considerable care, and the pan-growers, who have to devote their whole time to their gardens called Baroja, have become a separate caste with the designation of Baruji. The exterior of pan gardens may be seen very often by the Indian Railway traveller, when, through the window of his carriage, he takes a view of the aspect of the country through which he may be passing. The outside is not very attractive, but the scenery inside is very picturesque, and well worth the trouble of visiting.
The Baruis are a clean caste, and the ordinary Sudra Yajaka [शूद्रयाजक] Brahmans minister to them as priests. Their total population is, according to the last Census, as stated below: —
|N. -W. Provinces||153,459|
The Baruis are, generally speaking, quite illiterate and the few among them who have lately attained some degree of culture are trying their best to pass as Kayasthas [कायस्थ].
The Tambulis [ताम्बूली] derive their name from the Sanskrit word Tambul [ताम्बूल], which means betel leaf. The proper profession of the caste is the sale of the betel leaf, and in some parts of the country the Tambulis still practise their hereditary avocation. But the Tambulis [তাম্বূলী] of Bengal are a well-to-do class, and, like the Telis [তেলী], have long since given up their ancestral business. They now carry on either wholesale or retail trade in food-grains and oil-seeds, and at present they neither know, nor would admit, that their caste status is the same as that of the Barui [बारूई]. As both Telis and Tambulis generally carry on the same kind of business, the popular idea in Bengal is that the two are sub-divisions of the same caste, if not quite identical. In fact there are reasons for supposing that some Tambuli families have got themselves admitted into the Teli caste, and have given up their connection with their own caste. For instance, it is well known that the founder of the Pal Chowdry [পাল চৌধুরী] family of Ranaghat [রাণাঘাট] was one Krishna Panti [কৠষ্ণ পান্তী], who had been originally a pan-seller, but subsequently became a big merchant, and still later a big zemindar, by purchasing, at the time of confusion which followed what is called the Permanent Settlement of Bengal by Cornwallis [Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, 1738 – 1805], the extensive estates belonging to the Nadiya [নদিয়া] Raj. Krishna Panti was not only a panseller originally, but his surname also indicates that he was of the pan-selling caste. The family, however, profess to be Telis, and have, since becoming landholders, created and assumed the aristocratic Teli surname of Pal Chowdry.
The last Census gives the following figures regarding the Tambuli population of India: —
|N. -W. Provinces||74,134|
The Tambulis [ताम्बूली] of Behar [बिहार], N. -W. Provinces and Central India are generally quite illiterate.
In Bengal [বঙ্গ], their more aristocratic castemen stand on almost the same footing with the Telis [তেলী] in point of culture and refinement. The usual surnames of the Tambulis of Bengal are
and those of the Behar [बिहार] Tambulis are
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