2. Dvitīyaṃ kāṇḍam

16. śūdravargaḥ

(Über Śūdras)

2. Vers 5 - 15: Handwerker

Beispiele zu: Kupferschmied

Hrsg. von Alois Payer 

Zitierweise | cite as: Amarasiṃha <6./8. Jhdt. n. Chr.>: Nāmaliṅgānuśāsana (Amarakośa) / übersetzt von Alois Payer <1944 - >. -- 2. Dvitīyaṃ kāṇḍam. -- 16. śūdravargaḥ  (Über Śūdras). -- 2. Vers 5 - 15: Handwerker.  -- Beispiele zu: Kupferschmied. -- Fassung vom 2017-10-26. --  URL:                                                        

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Prof. Dr. Heinrich von Stietencron

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Chembōtti (Malayalam)

"Chembōtti.In the Madras [மதராஸ்] Census Report, 1901, it is stated that the name Chembōtti is derived from “chembu [ചെമ്പ്], copper, and kotti, he who beats.” They are coppersmiths in Malabar [മലബാര്‍], who are distinct from the Malabar Kammālans. They are supposed to be descendants of men who made copper idols for temples, and so rank above the Kammālans in social position, and about equally with the lower sections of the Nāyars [നായര്‍]. The name is also used as an occupational term by the Konkan [कोंकण] Native Christian coppersmiths. In the Cochin [കൊച്ചി] and Travancore [തിരുവിതാംകൂര്] Census Reports, Chembukotti [ചെമ്പുകൊട്ടി] is recorded as an occupational title or sub-caste of Nāyars [നായര്‍] who work in copper, chiefly in temples and Brāhman houses.

In the Gazetteer of the Malabar [മലബാര്‍] district, the Chembōttis are described as copper-workers, whose traditional business is the roofing of the Sri-kōvil [ശ്രീകോവിൽ], or inner shrine of the temple with that metal. They are said to have originally formed part of the Kammālan community. 

“When the great temple at Taliparamba [തളിപ്പറമ്പ്] was completed, it was purified on a scale of unprecedented grandeur, no less than a thousand Brāhmans being employed. What was their dismay when the ceremony was well forward, to see a Chembōtti coming from the Sri-kōvil [ശ്രീകോവിൽ], where he had been putting finishing touches to the roof. This appeared to involve a recommencement of the whole tedious and costly ritual, and the Brāhmans gave vent to their feelings of despair, when a vision from heaven reassured them, and thereafter the Chembōttis have been raised in the social scale, and are not regarded as a polluting caste.”

[Quelle: Thurston, Edgar <1855-1935> ; Rangachari, K. (Kadambi) [கா. இரங்காச்சாரி] <1868 – 1934>: Castes and tribes of southern India / by Edgar Thurston ; assisted by K. Rangachari. -- Madras [மதராஸ்] [மதராஸ்] : Govt. Press, 1909. -- 7 Bde. : Ill. ; 24 cm. -- Bd. 2. -- S. 25f.]

Kanchugāra (Kannada)

"Kanchugāra.In the Madras [மதராஸ்] and Mysore [ಮೈಸೂರು] Census Reports, Kanchugāra is recorded as a sub-division of Panchāla, the members of which are workers in brass, copper, and bell-metal. The Kanchugāras of South Canara are described by Mr. H. A. Stuart (Manual of the South Canara district) as

“a Canarese [ಕನ್ನಡ] caste of brass-workers. They are Hindus of the Vaishnava [ವೈಷ್ಣವ] sect, and pay special reverence to Venkatramana of Tirupati [తిరుపతి]. Their spiritual guru is the head of the Rāmachandrapuram [రామచంద్రాపురం] math. A man cannot marry within his own gōtra [ಗೋತ್ರ] or family. They have the ordinary system of inheritance through males. Girls must be married before puberty, and the dhāre form of marriage (see Bant) is used. The marriage of widows is not permitted, and divorce is allowed only in the case of women who have proved unchaste. The dead are either cremated, or buried in a recumbent posture. Brāhmans officiate as their priests. The use of spirituous liquors, and flesh and fish is permitted. Bell-metal is largely used for making household utensils, such as lamps, goglets, basins, jugs, etc. The process of manufacturing these articles is as follows. The moulds are made of clay, dried and coated with wax to the thickness of the articles required, and left to dry again, a hole being made in them so as to allow the wax to flow out when heated. After this has been done, the molten metal is poured in. The moulds are then broken, and the articles taken out and polished.”

[Quelle: Thurston, Edgar <1855-1935> ; Rangachari, K. (Kadambi) [கா. இரங்காச்சாரி] <1868 – 1934>: Castes and tribes of southern India / by Edgar Thurston ; assisted by K. Rangachari. -- Madras [மதராஸ்] [மதராஸ்] : Govt. Press, 1909. -- 7 Bde. : Ill. ; 24 cm. -- Bd. 3. -- S. 159f.]

Kasār [कसार], Kasera [कसेरा], Kansari [कंसारी] [कंसारी], Bharewa [भरेवा] (Central Provinces)

"Kasār [कसार], Kasera [कसेरा], Kansari [कंसारी] , Bharewa [भरेवा].1

1 This article is compiled from papers by Mr. Rājarām Gangādhar, Tahsīldṣr, Arvi; Mr. Sadāsheo Jairām, Sanskrit Professor, Hislop College; and Mr. Deodatta Nāmdār, Manager, Court of Wards, Chauri.

A group of Kasārs [कसार] or brass-workers.

1. Distribution and origin of the caste.

The professional caste of makers and sellers of brass and copper vessels. In 1911 the Kasārs [कसार] numbered 20,000 persons in the Central Provinces and Berār [बेरार], and were distributed over all Districts, except in the Jubbulpore [जबलपुर] division, where they are scarcely found outside Mandla [मन्द्ला]. Their place in the other Districts of this division is taken by the Tameras [तमेर]. In Mandla [मन्द्ला] the Kasārs [कसार] are represented by the inferior Bharewa [भरेवा] group. The name of the caste is derived from nsa [कांसा], a term now applied to bell-metal. The kindred caste of Tameras [तमेर] take their name from tāmba [तांबा], copper, but both castes work in this metal indifferently, and in Saugor [सागर], Damoh [दमोह] and Jubbulpore [जबलपुर] no distinction exists between the Kasārs [कसार] and Tameras [तमेर], the same caste being known by both names. A similar confusion exists in northern India in the use of the corresponding terms Kasera [कसेरा] and Thathera [ठठेरा]. In Wardha [वर्धा] the Kasārs [कसार] are no longer artificers, but only dealers, employing Panchāls [पंचाल] to make the vessels which they retail in their shops. And the same is the case with the Marātha [मराठा] and Deshkar [देशकर] sub-castes in Nāgpur [नागपूर]. The Kasārs [कसार] are a respectable caste, ranking next to the Sunārs [सुनार] among the urban craftsmen.

According to a legend given by Mr. Sadāsheo Jairām they trace their origin from Dharampāl [धरमपाल], the son of Sahasra Arjun [सहस्र अर्जुन] or Arjun [अर्जुन] of the Thousand Arms. Arjun [अर्जुन] was the great-grandson of Ekshvaku [इक्ष्वाकु], who was born in the forests of Kalinga [कलिंग], from the union of a mare and a snake. On this account the Kasārs [कसार] of the Marātha [मराठा] country say that they all belong to the Ahihaya [अहिहय] clan (Ahi [अहि], a snake ; and Haya [हय], a mare). Arjun [अर्जुन] was killed by Parasurāma [परशुराम] during the slaughter of the  Kshatriyas [क्षत्रिय] and Dharampāl [धरमपाल]’s mother escaped with three other pregnant women. According to another version all the four women were the wives of the king of the Somvansi [सोमवंशी] Rājpūts [राजपूत] who stole the sacred cow Kamdhenu [कामधेनु]. Their four sons on growing up wished to avenge their father and prayed to the Goddess Kāli [काली] for weapons. But unfortunately in their prayer, instead of saying bān [बाण], arrow, they said vān [वाण], which means pot, and hence brass pots were given to them instead of arrows. They set out to sell the pots, but got involved in a quarrel with a Rāja [राजा], who killed three of them, but was defeated by the fourth, to whom he afterwards gave his daughter and half his kingdom ; and this hero became the ancestor of the Kasārs [कसार]. In some localities the Kasārs [कसार] say that Dharampāl [धरमपाल], the Rājpūt [राजपूत] founder of their caste, was the ancestor of the Haihaya Rājpūt [हैहय राजपूत] kings of Ratanpur [रतनपुर] ; and it is noticeable that the Thatheras [ठठेरा] of the United Provinces state that their original home was a place called Ratanpur [रतनपुर], in the Deccan [दक्खिन]. Both Ratanpur [रतनपुर] and Mandla [मन्द्ला], which are very old towns, have important brass and bell-metal industries, their bell-metal wares being especially well known on account of the brilliant polish which is imparted to them. And the story of the Kasārs [कसार] may well indicate, as suggested by Mr. Hīra Lāl, that Ratanpur [रतनपुर] was a very early centre of the brass-working industry, from which it has spread to other localities in this part of India.

2. Internal structure.

The caste have a number of subdivisions, mainly of a territorial nature. Among these are the
  • Marātha [मराठा] Kasārs [कसार] ; 
  • the Deshkar [देशकर], who also belong to the Marātha [मराठा] country ;
  • the Pardeshi [परदेशी] or foreigners,
  • the Jhāde or residents of the forest country of the Central Provinces, and
  • the Audhia [अवधिया] or Ajudhiabāsi [अयुधियावासी] who are immigrants from Oudh [अवध].

Another subdivision, the Bharewas [भरेवा], are of a distinctly lower status than the body of the caste, and have non-Aryan customs, such as the eating of pork. They make the heavy brass ornaments which the Gonds [गोंड] and other tribes wear on their legs, and are probably an occupational offshoot from one of these tribes. In Chanda [चंद्रपूर] some of the Bharewas [भरेवा] serve as grooms and are looked down upon by the others. They have totemistic septs, named after animals and plants, some of which are Gond [गोंड] words ; and among them the bride goes to the bridegroom’s house to be married, which is a Gond [गोंड] custom. The Bharewas [भरेवा] may more properly be considered as a separate caste of lower status. As previously stated, the Marātha [मराठा] and Deshkar [देशकर] subcastes of the Marātha [मराठा] country no longer make vessels, but only keep them for sale. One subcaste, the Otāris [ओतारी], make vessels from moulds, while the remainder cut and hammer into shape the imported sheets of brass. Lastly comes a group comprising those members of the caste who are of doubtful or illegitimate descent, and these are known either as Takle (‘Thrown out ’ in Marathi [मराठी]), Bidur, ‘Bastard,’ or Laondi Bachcha, ‘ Issue of a kept wife.’ In the Marātha [मराठा] country the Kasārs [कसार], as already seen, say that they all belong to one gotra [गोत्र], the Ahihaya [अहिहय]. They have, however, collections of families distinguished by different surnames, and persons having the same surname are forbidden to marry. In the northern Districts they have the usual collection of exogamous septs, usually named after villages.

3. Social customs.

The marriages of first cousins are generally forbidden, as well as of members of the same sept. Divorce and the remarriage of widows are permitted. Devi [देवी] or Bhawāni [भवानी] is the principal deity of the caste, as of so many Hindus. At her festival of Māndo Amāwas [अमावस] or the day of the new moon of Phāgun [फाल्गुन] (February), every Kasār [कसार] must return to the community of which he is a member and celebrate the feast with them. And in default of this he will be expelled from caste until the next Amāwas [अमावस] of Phāgun [फाल्गुन] comes round. They close their shops and worship the implements of their trade on this day and also on the Pola [पोळा] day. The Kasārs [कसार], as already stated, rank next to the Sunārs [सुनार] among the artisan castes, and the Audhia Sunārs [अवधिया सुनार], who make ornaments of bell-metal, form a connecting link between the two groups. The social status of the Kasārs [कसार] varies in different localities. In some places Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] take water from them but not in others. Some Kasārs [कसार] now invest boys with the sacred thread at their weddings, and thereafter it is regularly worn.

4. Occupation.

The caste make eating and drinking vessels, ornaments and ornamental figures from brass, copper and bell-metal. Brass is the metal most in favour for utensils, and it is usually imported in sheets from Bombay [मुंबई], but in places it is manufactured from a mixture of three parts of copper and two of zinc. This is considered the best brass, though it is not so hard as the inferior kinds, in which the proportion of zinc is increased. Ornaments of a grey colour, intended to resemble silver, are made from a mixture of four parts of copper with five of zinc. Bell-metal is an alloy of copper and tin, and in Chānda is made of four parts of copper to one part tin or tinfoil, the tin being the more expensive metal. Bells of fairly good size and excellent tone are moulded from this amalgam, and plates or saucers in which anything acid in the way of food is to be kept are also made of it, since acids do not corrode this metal as they do brass and copper. But bell-metal vessels are fragile and sometimes break when dropped. They cannot also be heated in the fire to clean them, and therefore cannot be lent to persons outside the family ; while brass vessels may be lent to friends of other castes, and on being received back pollution is removed by heating them in the fire or placing hot ashes in them. Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] make a small fire of grass for this purpose and pass the vessels through the flame. Copper cooking-pots are commonly used by Muhammadans but not by Hindus, as they have to be coated with tin ; the Hindus consider that tin is an inferior metal whose application to copper degrades the latter. Pots made of brass with a copper rim are called ‘Ganga Jamni’  [गंगाजमनी]after the confluence of the dark water of the Jumna [जमुना] with the muddy stream of the Ganges [गंगा], whose union they are supposed to symbolise. Small figures of the deities or idols are also made of brass, but some Kasārs [कसार] will not attempt this work, because they are afraid of the displeasure of the god in case the figure should not be well or symmetrically shaped."

[Quelle: Russell, R. V. (Robert Vane) <1873-1915> ; Hīra Lāl <Rai Bahadur> [हीरालाल <राय बहादुर>] <1873 - 1923>: The tribes and castes of the Central Provinces of India. -- London: MacMillan, 1916. -- 4 Bde. : Ill. -- Bd. 3. -- S. 369 - 372]

Khodūra (Oriya)

"Khodūra.The name is derived from khodu, bangle. The Khodūras, Mr. Francis writes (Madras Census Report, 1901), are

“manufacturers of the brass and bell-metal bangles and rings ordinarily worn by the lower class Odiyas [ଓଡ଼ିଆ]. Their headman is called Nahako Sāhu, and under him there are deputies called Dhoyi Nahako and Bēhara. There is a fourth functionary styled Aghopotina, whose peculiar duty is said to be to join in the first meal taken by those who have been excommunicated, and subsequently readmitted into the caste by the caste panchayat (council). A quaint custom exists, by which honorific titles like Sēnāpati [ସେନାପତି], Mahāpātro [ମହାପାତ୍ର], Subuddhi, etc., are sold by the panchayat to any man of the caste who covets them, and the proceeds sent to Puri and Pratābpur for the benefit of the temples there. It is said that the original home of the caste was Orissa [ଓଡ଼ିଶା], and that it came to Ganjam [ଗଞ୍ଜାମ] with Purushottam Deva [ବୀର ପ୍ରତାପ ପୁରୁଷୋତ୍ତମ ଦେବ, r. 1466 - 1497], the Mahārāja of Puri [ପୁରୀ]. In its general customs it resembles the Badhōyis.”

I am informed that the name of the fourth functionary should be Aghopotiria, or first leaf man, i.e., the man who is served first at a public dinner."

[Quelle: Thurston, Edgar <1855-1935> ; Rangachari, K. (Kadambi) [கா. இரங்காச்சாரி] <1868 – 1934>: Castes and tribes of southern India / by Edgar Thurston ; assisted by K. Rangachari. -- Madras [மதராஸ்] [மதராஸ்] : Govt. Press, 1909. -- 7 Bde. : Ill. ; 24 cm. -- Bd. 3. -- S. 288]

Tamera [तमेर], Tambatkar [ताम्बतकार] (Central Provinces)

"Tamera [तमेर], Tambatkar [ताम्बतकार].1

1 This article is based on information contributed by Nand Kishore, Nāzir of the Deputy Commissioner's Office,  Damoh; Mr. Tārāchand Dube, Municipal Member, Bilāspur ; and Mr. Adurām  Chaudhri of the Gazetteer Office.

1. Tamera [तमेर] and Kasār [कसार].

The professional caste of coppersmiths, the name being derived from tāmba [तांबा], copper. The Tameras [तमेर], however, like the Kasārs [कसार] or brass-workers, use copper, brass and bell-metal indifferently, and in the northern Districts the castes are not really distinguished, Tamera [तमेर] and Kasār [कसार] being almost interchangeable terms. In the Marātha [मराठा] country, however, and other localities they are considered as distinct castes. Copper is a sacred metal, and the coppersmith’s calling would be considered somewhat more respectable than that of the worker in brass or bell-metal, just as the Sunār [सुनार] or goldsmith ranks above both ; and probably, therefore, the Tameras [तमेर] may consider themselves a little better than the Kasārs [कसार]. As brass is an alloy made from copper and zinc, it seems likely that vessels were made from copper before they were made from brass. But copper being a comparatively rare and expensive metal, utensils made from it could scarcely have ever been generally used, and it is therefore not necessary to suppose that either the Tamera [तमेर] or Kasār [कसार] caste came into being before the adoption of brass as a convenient material for the household pots and pans.

2. Social traditions and customs.

In 1911 the Tameras [तमेर] numbered about 5000 persons in the Central Provinces and Berār [बेरार]. They tell the same story of their origin which has already been related in the article on the Kasār [कसार] caste, and trace their descent from the Haihaya Rājpūt [हैहय राजपूत] dynasty of Ratanpur [रतनपुर]. They say that when the king Dharampāl [धरमपाल], the first ancestor of the caste, was married, a bevy of 119 girls were sent with his bride in accordance with the practice still occasionally obtaining among royal Hindu families, and these, as usual, became the concubines of the husband or, as the Tameras [तमेर] say, his wives : and from the bride and her companions the 120 exogamous sections of the caste are sprung. As a fact, however, many of the sections are named after villages or natural objects. A man is not permitted to marry any one belonging to his own section or that of his mother, the union of first cousins being thus prohibited. The caste also do not favour Anta sānta or the practice of exchanging girls between families, the reason alleged being that after the bride’s father has acknowledged the superiority of the bridegroom’s father by washing his feet, it is absurd to require the latter to do the same, that is, to wash the feet of his inferior. So they may not take a girl from a family to which they have given one of their own. The real reason for the rule lies possibly in an extension of the principle of exogamy, whether based on a real fear of carrying too far the practice of intermarriage between families or an unfounded superstition that intermarriage between families already connected may have the same evil results on the offspring as the union of blood-relations. When the wedding procession is about to start, after the bridegroom has been bathed and before he puts on the kankan [कंकण] or iron wristlet which is to protect him from evil spirits, he is seated on a stool while all the male members of the household come up with their choti [चोटी] or scalp-lock untied and rub it against that of the bridegroom. Again, after the wedding ceremonies are over and the bridegroom has, according to rule, untied one of the fastenings of the marriage-shed, he also turns over a tile of the roof of the house. The meaning of the latter ceremony is not clear; the significance attaching to the choti [चोटी] has been discussed in the article on Nai.

3. Disposal of the dead.

The caste burn their dead except children, who can be  buried, and observe mourning for ten days in the case of an adult and for three days for a child. A cake of flour containing two pice (farthings) is buried or burnt with the corpse. When a death takes place among the community all the members of it stop making vessels for that day, though they-will transact retail sales. When mourning is over, a feast is given to the caste-fellows and to seven members of the menial and serving castes. These are known as the ‘Sāttiho Jāt’ or Seven Castes, and it may be conjectured that in former times they were the menials of the village and were given a meal in much the same spirit as prompts an English landlord to give his tenants a dinner on occasions of ceremony. Instances of a similar custom are noted among the Kunbis [कुणबी] and other castes. Before food is served to the guests a leaf-plate containing a portion for the deceased is placed outside the house with a pot of water, and a burning lamp to guide his spirit to the food.

4. Religion.

The caste worship the goddess Singhbāhani [सिंहवाहनी] or Devi [देवी] riding on a tiger. They make an image of her in the most expensive metal they can afford, and worship it daily. They will on no account swear by this goddess. They worship their trade implements on the day of the new moon in Chait [चैत्र] (March) and Bhādon [भादों] (August). A trident, as a symbol of Devi [देवी], is then drawn with powdered rice and vermilion on the furnace for casting metal. A lamp is waved over the furnace and a cocoanut is broken and distributed to the caste-fellows, no outsider being allowed to be present. They quench their furnace on the new moon day of every month, the Rāmnaomi [राम नवमी] and Durgapuja [दुर्गापूजा] or nine days’ fasts in the months of Chait [चैत्र] and Kunwār [कुंवार], and for the two days following the Diwāli [दीवाली] and Holi [होली] festivals. On these days they will not prepare any new vessels, but will sell those which they have ready. The Tameras [तमेर] have Kanaujia Brāhmans [कन्नौजिया ब्राह्मण] for their priests, and the Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] will take food from them which has been cooked without water and salt. On this account other Kanaujia Brāhmans [कन्नौजिया ब्राह्मण] require a heavy payment before they will marry with the priests of the Tameras [तमेर]. The caste abstain from liquor, and some of them have abjured all flesh food while others partake of it. They usually wear the sacred thread. Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] will take water from their hands, and the menial castes will eat food which they have touched. They work in brass, copper and bell-metal in exactly the same manner as the Kasārs [कसार], and have an equivalent social position."

[Quelle: Russell, R. V. (Robert Vane) <1873-1915> ; Hīra Lāl <Rai Bahadur> [हीरालाल <राय बहादुर>] <1873 - 1923>: The tribes and castes of the Central Provinces of India. -- London: MacMillan, 1916. -- 4 Bde. : Ill. -- Bd. 4. -- S. 536 - 539]