2. Dvitīyaṃ kāṇḍam

16. śūdravargaḥ

(Über Śūdras)

2. Vers 5 - 15: Handwerker

Beispiele zu: Zimmermann

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: Zimmermann. -- Fassung vom 2018-01-08. --  URL:                                                        

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Meinem Lehrer und Freund

Prof. Dr. Heinrich von Stietencron

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"THE CARPENTER (Taccthan [தச்சன்]).

The carpenter is one of the five useful artisans of the village. The people of a large village usually have a carpenter living in their midst. But when the village is small, the carpenter has to take up the work of other villages in order to secure a sufficient maintenance. He makes the yoke and other wood implements for ploughing, the handles for hoes, spades, axes, weeding tools, sickles, and other necessary implements for agricultural purposes and for the irrigation of land. He makes ornamental doorposts, and also doors, rafters, plain bedsteads, wooden spoons, and stools of various sizes for domestic use. At the time of village festivals, according to the requirements of the occasion, he makes portable cars or stages, for taking the idols in procession. Several of these mechanics unite in making a portable temporary car, at a cost of 1,750 rupees, for the temple of Madura [மதுரை] every year. All the temples of India have large and magnificent ornamental cars, which can only be drawn by thousands of men, and these are made by the skilful carpenters. Images of different kinds and forms are also made by the taccthan [தச்சன்]. He makes village carts for the conveyance of passengers and loads. He gets in the form of wages a certain number of bushels of grain from each farmer ; and, as usual, he also gets a bundle of corn, and certain measures of grain, at the harvest time. But he makes a separate charge for constructing carts, vehicles, doors, and doorposts.

He wears a sacred thread on his shoulders, like the other artisans. His wife never helps him in his manual labours. There are 31,237 carpenters in Southern India alone.

In a certain large village there was a carpenter who was celebrated for his artistic skill, especially in making wooden images. He had shown good taste in this direction from his boyhood ; he had attracted the attention of the other artisans when he was but a boy of fourteen. His fame went abroad as a renowned carving carpenter, and several of the native village chiefs, hearing of his reputation, sent for him to their respective places, and got him to do work for them. When the work was accomplished they would present the young carpenter with gold bangles and other ornaments, besides money gifts, in order to indicate their esteem for him, and their appreciation of his skill. In course of time the young carpenter became very popular, and enriched himself by his artistic abilities. One summer morning this carpenter happened to pass through a street in which a Roman Catholic priest lived. The carpenter, out of curiosity, went into the church, and there noticed some of the images that had been made in France. He declared that he could make images equal to any of these. At once he was brought to the notice of the priest, who asked him to make an image of St. Xavier [பிரான்சிஸ் சவேரியார் / Francisco de Xavier, 1506 - 1552] out of the trunk of a solid tulip-tree, and promised him a handsome present if he did it well. The carpenter, having consented to do the job in a month’s time, went to his home and commenced upon the work. Some six months before a Hindu had given him a large trunk of a tulip-tree, from which he wanted him to make an image of one Karuppana Sawmi [கருப்பண்ண ஸ்வாமி], a bloodthirsty village god. The carpenter, having executed that work, kept the remainder of the wood, and now found it very serviceable to him. With great care and skill he carved the image of St. Xavier, and presently took it to the priest, and received his reward. The priest then arranged for the festival of the saint. A grand procession was formed to carry the image through all the streets of the village. Amongst the other spectators was that Hindu who had given the wood to the carpenter. In the midst of this great procession this Hindu, who had no distinct ideas about religious matters, shouted out in the very midst of the people, ‘Ah, how nice the image looks! Is it not the younger brother of our Karuppana Sawmi [கருப்பண்ண ஸ்வாமி], the village god ?’ The enthusiastic Catholic worshippers beat him severely for uttering such defiling and blasphemous words. The Hindus then rose against the Catholics who had beaten the Hindu, and so there was a great commotion and uproar in the village.

On the following day they brought a charge before the nearest magistrate against the Hindu who had blasphemed their saint. The magistrate, on investigation, found out that the Hindu was an ignorant man, and that, in his ignorance, he believed St. Xavier, the great Jesuit missionary, the forerunner of their mission, and Karuppana Sawmi [கருப்பண்ண ஸ்வாமி], one of the many tutelary Hindu gods, were really brothers, as both these images had been made out of the one piece of tulip-wood which he had given to the carpenter. The carpenter was summoned to give evidence before the magistrate. The magistrate, being a Hindu himself, laughed at the idea of image-worship prevailing among a certain class of Christians, and dismissed the case, saying to the Roman Catholics, ‘Your image is no better than the Hindu image.’

Among the carpenters there have been several renowned poets who distinguished themselves at different periods in India. One of them was the great Suppra thepa Kavyrayer, a poet, and a contemporary with Father Beschi [Constanzo Beschi SJ, 1680 – 1742]; and it is he who, after his nominal conversion to Catholicism, helped Beschi in composing ‘Tembavani [தேம்பாவணி],’ a poetical work in High Tamil literature, containing a graphic and descriptive account of the Holy Land, Palestine."

[Quelle: Pandian, T. B. (Thomas B.) [பாண்டியன், தாமஸ் பி] <1863 - >: Indian village folk: their works and ways. -- London : Stock, 1898. -- 212 S. : Ill. ; 21 cm. -- S. 32 - 35]

Badhōyi (Oriya)

"Badhōyi.The Badhōyis are Oriya [ଓଡ଼ିଆ] carpenters and blacksmiths, of whom the former are known as Badhōyi, and the latter as Komāro. These are not separate castes, and the two sections both interdine and intermarry. The name Badhōyi is said to be derived from the Sanskrit vardhaki, which, in Oriya, becomes bardhaki, and indicates one who changes the form, i.e., of timber. Korti, derived from korto, a saw, occurs as the name of a section of the caste, the members of which are wood-sawyers. Socially, the Badhōyis occupy the same position as Doluvas, Kālinjis, and various other agricultural classes, and they do not, like the Tamil Kammālans, claim to be Viswakarma Brāhmans, descended from Viswakarma [ବିଶ୍ୱକର୍ମା], the architect of the gods.

The hereditary headman is called Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ], and, in some places, there seem to be three grades of Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ], viz., Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ], Dondopato Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ], and Swangso Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ]. These headmen are assisted by a Bhollobhaya or Dolobēhara, and there is a further official called Agopothiria, whose duty it is to eat with an individual who is re-admitted into the caste after a council meeting. This duty is sometimes performed by the Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ]. Ordinary meetings of council are convened by the Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ] and Bhollobhaya. But, if a case of a serious nature is to be tried, a special council meeting, called kulo panchāyat, is held in a grove or open space outside the village. All the Mahārānas and other officers, and representatives of five castes (panchapātako) equal or superior to the Badhōyis in the social scale, attend such a council. The complainant goes to the Swangso Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ], and, giving him fifty areca nuts, asks him to convene the council meeting. Punishment inflicted by the caste council usually assumes the form of a fine, the amount of which depends on the worldly prosperity of the delinquent, who, if very indigent, may be let off with a reprimand and warning. Sometimes offences are condoned by feeding Brāhmans or the Badhōyi community. Small sums, collected as fines, are appropriated by the headman, and large sums are set apart towards a fund for meeting the marriage expenses of the poorer members of the caste, and the expenditure in connection with kulo panchāyats.

Concerning the marriage ceremonies, Mr. D. Mahanty writes as follows.

“At a marriage among the Badhōyis, and various other castes in Ganjam [ଗଞ୍ଜାମ], two pith crowns are placed on the head of the bridegroom. On his way to the bride’s house, he is met by her purōhit [ପୁରୋହିତ] (priest) and relations, and her barber washes his feet, and presents him with a new yellow cloth, flowers, and kusa [କୁଶ] grass (also called dharbha [ଦର୍ଭ] grass). When he arrives at the house, amid the recitations of stanzas by the priest, the blowing of conch shells and other music, the women of the bride’s party make a noise called hulu-huli, and shower kusa [କୁଶ] grass over him. At the marriage booth, the bridegroom sits upon a raised ‘ altar,’ and the bride, who arrives accompanied by his maternal uncle, pours salt, yellow-coloured rice, and parched paddy (rice) over the head of the bridegroom, by whose side she seats herself. One of the pith crowns is removed from the bridegroom’s forehead, and placed on that of the bride. Various Brāhmanical rites are then performed, and the bride’s father places her hand in that of the bridegroom. A bundle of straw is now placed on the altar, on which the contracting parties sit, the bridegroom facing east, and the bride west. The purōhit [ପୁରୋହିତ] rubs a little jaggery over the bridegroom’s right palm, joins it to the palm of the bride, and ties their two hands together with a rope made of kusa [କୁଶ] grass (hasthagonti). A yellow cloth is tied to the cloths which the bridal pair are wearing, and stretched over their shoulders (gontiyala). The hands are then untied by a married woman. Srādha is performed for the propitiation of ancestors, and the purōhit [ପୁରୋହିତ], repeating some mantrams [ମନ୍ତ୍ର] (prayers), blesses the pair by throwing yellow rice over them. On the sixth day of the ceremony, the bridegroom runs away from the house of his father-in-law, as if he was displeased, and goes to the house of a relation in the same or an adjacent village. His brother-in-law, or other male relation of the bride, goes in search of him, and, when he has found him, rubs some jaggery over his face, and brings him back.”

As an example of the stanzas recited by the purōhit [ପୁରୋହିତ], the following may be cited:—

I have presented with my mind and word, and also with kusa grass and water.
The witnesses of this are fire, Brāhmans, women, relations, and all the devatas.
Forgive this presentable faithful maid.
I am performing the marriage according to the Vedic rites.
Women are full of all kinds of faults. Forgive these faults.
Brahma is the god of this maid.
By the grace of the god Vasudēva, I give to thee the bridegroom.

The Badhōyis are Paramarthos, and follow the Chaitanya [চৈতন্য, 1486 - 1533] form of Vaishnavism [ବୈଷ୍ଣବ]. They further worship various village deities. The dead are cremated. The corpse of a dead person is washed, not at the house, but at the burning-ground.

The most common caste title is Mahārāna [ମହାରାଣ]. But, in some zemindaris, such titles as Bindhani Rathno, and Bindhani Būshano, have been conferred by the zemindars on carpenters for the excellence of their work.

The carpenters and blacksmiths hold ināms or rentfree lands both under zemindars and under Government.

In return, they are expected to construct a car for the annual festival of the village deity, at which, in most places, the car is burnt at the conclusion of the festival. They have further to make agricultural implements for the villagers, and, when officials arrive on circuit, to supply tent-pegs, etc."

[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. 1. -- S. 124 - 128]

Barhai [बढ़ई], Sutār [सुतार], Kharādi [खरादी], Mistri [मिस्तरी] (Central Provinces)

"Barhai [बढ़ई], Sutār [सुतार], Kharādi [खरादी], Mistri [मिस्तरी].—

1. Strength and local distribution.

The occupational caste of carpenters. The Barhais [बढ़ई] numbered nearly 110,000 persons in the Central Provinces and Berār [बेरार] in 1911, orabout 1 in 150 persons. The caste is most numerous in Districts with large towns, and few carpenters are to be found in villages except in the richer and more advanced Districts. Hitherto such woodwork as the villagers wanted for agriculture has been made by the Lohār [लोहार] or blacksmith, while the country cots, the only wooden article of furniture in their houses, could be fashioned by their own hands or by the Gond [गोंड] woodcutter. In the Mandla [मन्द्ला] District the Barhai [बढ़ई] caste counts only 300 persons, and about the same in Bālāghāt [बालाघाट], in Drūg [द्रूग] only 47 persons, and in the fourteen Chhattisgarh [छत्तीसगढ़] Feudatory States, with a population of more than two millions, only some 800 persons. The name Barhai [बढ़ई] is said to be from the Sanskrit Vardhika [वर्धिक] and the root vardh [वर्ध्], to cut. Sutār [सुतार] is a common name of the caste in the Marātha [मराठा] Districts, and is from Sūtra-kara [सूत्रकर], one who works by string, or a maker of string. The allusion may be to the Barhai’s [बढ़ई] use of string in planing or measuring timber, or it may possibly indicate a transfer of occupation, the Sutārs [सुतार] having first been mainly string-makers and afterwards abandoned this calling for that of the carpenter. The first wooden implements and articles of furniture may have been held together by string before nails came into use. Kharādi [खरादी] is literally a turner, one who turns woodwork on a lathe, from kharāt [खराद], a lathe. Mistri [मिस्तरी], a corruption of the English Mister, is an honorific title for master carpenters.

2. Internal structure.

The comparatively recent growth of the caste in these Provinces is shown by its subdivisions. The principal subcastes of the Hindustāni [हिंदुस्तानी / ہندوستانی] Districts are the Pardeshi [परदेशी] or foreigners, immigrants from northern India, and the Pūrbia [पूरबिया] or eastern, coming from Oudh [अवध] ; other subcastes are the Sri Gaur Mālas or immigrants from Mālwa [माळवा], the Berādi from Berār [बेरार], and the Māhure from Hyderābād [حیدر آباد]. We find also subcastes of Jāt [जाट]  and Teli [तेली] Barhais [बढ़ई], consisting of Jāts [जाट] and Telis [तेली] (oil-pressers) who have taken to carpentering. Two other caste-groups, the Chamār Barhais [चमार बढ़ई] and Gondi Barhais [गोंडी बढ़ई], are returned, but these are not at present included in the Barhai [बढ़ई] caste, and consist merely of Chamārs [चमार] and Gonds [गोंड] who work as carpenters but remain in their own castes. In the course of some generations, however, if the cohesive social force of the caste system continues unabated, these groups may probably find admission into the Barhai [बढ़ई] caste. Colonel Tod notes that the progeny of one Makūr, a prince of the Jādon Rājpūt [
जादौन राजपूत] house of Jaisalmer [जैसलमेर], became carpenters, and were known centuries after as Makūr Sutārs [सुतार]. They were apparently considered illegitimate, as he states :

“Illegitimate children can never overcome this natural defect among the Rājpūts [राजपूत]. Thus we find among all classes of artisans in India some of royal but spurious descent.” 1

 1 Rājasthān, ii. p. 210.

The internal structure of the caste seems therefore to indicate that it is largely of foreign origin and to a certain degree of recent formation in these Provinces.

3. Marriage customs.

The caste are also divided into exogamous septs named after villages. In some localities it is said that they have no septs, but only surnames, and that people of the same surname cannot intermarry. Well-to-do persons marry their daughters before puberty and others when they can afford the expense of the ceremony. Brāhman [ब्राह्मण] priests are employed at weddings, though on other occasions their services are occasionally dispensed with. The wedding ceremony is of the type prevalent in the locality. When the wedding procession reaches the bride’s village it halts near the temple of Māroti [मारुति] or Hanumān [हनुमान]. Among the Panchāl Barhais [पंचाल बढ़ई] the bridegroom does not wear a marriage crown but ties a bunch of flowers to his turban. The bridegroom’s party is entertained for five days. Divorce and the remarriage of widows are permitted. In most localities it is said that a widow is forbidden to marry her first husband’s younger as well as his elder brother. Among the Pardeshi Barhais [परदेशी बढ़ई] of Betūl [बैतूल] if a bachelor desires to marry a widow he must first go through the ceremony with a branch or twig of the gular [गूलर - Ficus racemosa] tree.

4. Religion.

The caste worship Viswakarma [विश्वकर्मा], the celestial architect, and venerate their trade implements on the Dasahra [दशहर] festival. They consider the sight of a mongoose and of a light-grey pigeon or dove as lucky omens. They burn the dead and throw the ashes into a river or tank, employing a Mahā-Brāhman [महाब्राह्मण] to receive the gifts for the dead.

5. Social position.

In social status the Barhais [बढ़ई] rank with the higher artisan castes. Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] take water from them in some localities, perhaps more especially in towns. In Betūl [बैतूल] for instance Hindustāni [हिंदुस्तानी / ہندوستانی] Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] do not accept water from the rural Barhais [बढ़ई]. In Damoh [दमोह] where both the Barhai [बढ़ई] and Lohār [लोहार] are village menials, their status is said to be the same, and Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] do not take water from Lohārs [लोहार]. Mr. Nesfield says that the Barhai [बढ़ई] is a village servant and ranks with the Kurmi [कुर्मी], with whom his interests are so closely allied. But there seems no special reason why the interests of the carpenter should be more closely allied with the cultivator than those of any other village menial, and it may be offered as a surmise that carpentering as a distinct trade is of comparatively late origin, and was adopted by Kurmis [कुर्मी], to which fact the connection noticed by Mr. Nesfield might be attributed ; hence the position of the Barhai [बढ़ई] among the castes from whom a Brāhman [ब्राह्मण] will take water. In some localities well-to-do members of the caste have begun to wear the sacred thread.

6. Occupation.

In the northern Districts and the cotton tract the Barhai [बढ़ई]  works as a village menial. He makes and mends the plough and harrow (bakhar [बखर]) and other wooden implements of agriculture, and makes new ones when supplied with the wood.

In Wardha [वर्धा] he receives an annual contribution of 100 lbs. of grain from each cultivator. In Betūl [बैतूल] he gets 67 lbs. of grain and other perquisites for each plough of four bullocks. For making carts and building or repairing houses he must be separately paid. At weddings the Barhai [बढ़ई] often supplies the sacred marriage-post and is given from four annas to a rupee. At the Diwāli [दीवाली] festival he prepares a wooden peg about six inches long, and drives it into the cultivator’s house inside the threshold, and receives half a pound to a pound of grain.

In cities the carpenters are rapidly acquiring an increased degree of skill as the demand for a better class of houses and furniture becomes continually greater and more extensive. The carpenters have been taught to make English furniture by such institutions as the Friends’ Mission of Hoshangābād [होशंगाबाद] and other missionaries ; and a Government technical school has now been opened at Nāgpur [नागपूर], in which boys from all over the Province are trained in the profession. Very little wood-carving with any pretensions to excellence has hitherto been done in the Central Provinces, but the Jain [जैन] temples at Saugor [सागर] and Khurai [खुरई] contain some fair woodwork. A good carpenter in towns can earn from 12 annas to Rs. 1-8 a day, and both his earnings and prospects have greatly improved within recent years. Sherring remarks of the Barhais [बढ़ई] :

 “As artisans they exhibit little or no inventive powers : but in imitating the workmanship of others they are perhaps unsurpassed in the whole world. They are equally clever in working from designs and models.” 1

 1 Hindu Castes, i, p. 316.


[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. 2. -- S. 199 - 202]

Barhai [बढ़ई], Barhi [बढी], Badhi [बढी] (NW Provinces und Oudh)

"Barhai [बढ़ई],1 Barhi [बढी], Badhi [बढी].— (Sanskrit, vardhika [वर्धिक]; root vardh [वर्ध्], “to cut.”)—The carpenter class, also known as Tarkhān [ਤਰਖਾਣ] in the Panjāb [ਪੰਜਾਬ ], Alistri (which is probably a corruption of the English “ Master, Mr.”), and Lakarkata [लकडकता] or “wood-cutter” (lakri-kātna [लकड़ी काटना]). The term Gokain is generally applied to a wood carver : it is derived by Mr. Nesfield from the Hindi [हिन्दी] khonchna [खोंचना], “to scoop out,” but is more possibly connected with gaukh [गौख], Sanskrit, gavaksha [गवक्ष], “a window frame.” Traditionally they claim descent from Viswakarma [विश्वकर्म], son of Brahma [ब्रह्मा] (who is identified with Twashtri [त्वष्टृ], the divine artisan), through Vikramajit [विक्रमजित], who is said to have espoused a Kshatriya [क्सत्रिय] woman. As the sub-divisions show, the caste is probably a functional group recruited from various castes following the common occupation of carpentry.

1 Based on enquiries made at Mirzapur, and notes by the Deputy Inspectors of Schools at Bareilly, Basti, Bijnor.

2. Internal structure.

The Barhais [बढ़ई] have broken up into an enormous number of endogamous sub-castes, of which the last Census returns enumerate eight hundred and fifty-nine in the Hindu and seventy-nine in the Muhammadan branch. Of these locally the most important are

  • in Sahāranpur [सहारनपुर], 
    • the Bandariya [बंदरिया],
    • Dholi [ढोली],
    • Multāni [ਮੁਲਤਾਨੀ],
    • Nagar [नगर], and
    • Tarloiya;
  • in Muzaffarnagar,
    • the Dhalwāl or “ shield-makers, ” and
    • Lota ;
  • in Meerut [मेरठ], the Janghāra [जांगडा], the name of a Rājput [राजपूत] sept;
  • in Bulandshahr [बुलन्दशहर], the Bhīl [भील];
  • in Aligarh [अलीगढ़], the Chauhān [चौहान] ;
  • in Mathura [मथुरा],
    • the Bāhman [बाह्माण] or Brāhman [ब्राह्मण] subcaste, and
    • the Sosaniya ;
  • in Agra [आगरा],
    • the Nagar [नगर],
    • Janghāra [जांगडा], and
    • Uprautya ;
  • in Farrukhābād [फ़र्रूख़ाबाद], the Paretiya [परेतिया] or “reel-makers ” ;
  •  in Mainpuri [मैनपुरी], the Umariya [उमरिया];
  • in Etah [एटा],
    • the Agwariya,
    • Barmaniyān,
    • Bisari, 
    • Jalesariya [जलेसरिया] (from the town of Jalesar [जलेसर]), and
    • the Usarbhola;
  • in Bareilly [बरेली], the Jalesariya [जलेसरिया];
  • in Ballia [बल्लिया], the Gokalbansi;
  • in Basti [बस्ती],
    • the Dakkhināha [दक्खिनाहा] or “ Southern,” and
    • the Sarwariya [सरवाडिया], or those who come from beyond the Sarju [सरयू] river;
  • in Gonda [गोंडा],
    • the Kairāti, which is possibly a corruption of Kharādi [खऱाडी], and
    • the Sondi [सोंदी];
  • in Bārabanki [बाराबंकी], the Jaiswār [जैसवार].
  • In Mirzāpur [मिर्ज़ापुर] they name five,—
    • Kokāsbansi [कोकासवंशी],
    • Magadhiya [मगधिया] , or Magahiya [मगहिया] (from Magadha [मगध]),
    • Purbiha [पूरबिहा] or Purbiya [पूरबिया] (Eastern), 
    • Uttarāha [उत्तराहा] (Northern), and
    • Khāti [खाती] (Sanskrit Kshatri [क्षतृ]; root, kshad [क्षद्], “to cut”). Of these the Khāti [खाती] specially work as wheel-wrights.
  • In Bareilly [बरेली] we have
    • Mathuriya [मथुरिया],
    • Dhanman [धनमन], and
    • Khāti [खाती];
  • in Bijnor [बिजनौर], 
    • Dahman,
    • Mathuriya [मथुरिया],
    • Lahori [ਲਾਹੌਰੀ], and
    • Kokās [कोकास];
  • in Basti [बस्ती],
    • Kokāsbans [कोकासवंश], and 
    • Lohār Barhai [लोहार बढ़ई].

Another enumeration gives

  • Kokās [कोकास],
  • Mahur,
  • Tānk [टांक], 
  • Khāti [खाती],
  • Uprautiya,
  • Bāmhan Barhai [बांहण बढ़ई] or Mathuriya [मथुरिया],
  • Ojha Gaur [ओझा गौर], and 
  • Chamār Barhai [चमार बढ़ई].

Of these the Bāmhan [बांहण] and Ojha Gaur [ओझा गौर] claim a Brāhmanical origin, and the Chamār Barhai [चमार बढ़ई] are perhaps an offshoot from the Chamārs [चमार].

In Benares [वाराणसी] , again, we have

  • the Janeūdhari [जनेऊधरी], (wearers of the Brāhmanical cord, janeū [जनेऊ]), who eat no meat, wear the sacred cord, and regard themselves far superior to the others : they are said to come from the Duāb [दोआब] [दोआब].
  • The Khāti [खाती] are wheel-wrights. 
  • The Kokās [कोकास] come from Delhi [दिल्ली], and make chairs and tables.
  • Those designated Setbanda Rameswar manufacture puppets and dolls, on which they perform in public : they have a character for begging, and are, therefore, not a reputable branch of the caste.

In the Hills some Barhais [बढ़ई] are emigrants from the plains ; but most of them are of the Orh division of the Doms [डोम].

To the west of the Province, the Ojha [ओझा] or Ujhādon Barhais claim Brāhmanical descent, and wear the Brāhmanical cord. In some of the Western towns they have recently refused to do such degrading work as the repairs of conservancy carts, etc.

In Morādābād [मुरादाबाद] there is a sub-caste known as Khāti Bishnoi [खाती बिश्नोई], who make a speciality of making cart-wheels like those of the same name to the east of the Province : in Bulandshahr [बुलन्दशहर] the Khāti [खाती] are said to be considered so low that water touched by them is not drunk by the higher castes. In the same district are also found the Tānk [टांक], Ukāt, and Dibhān, as well as the Jānghra [जांगडा], who claim kindred with the Janghāra Rājputs [राजपूत].

In the Central Duāb [दोआब], again, we have, besides the Ujhādon Brāhman sub-caste, three others known as Dhīmar [धीमर], Māhar, and Khāti [खाती].

These names illustrate the composite character of the caste, the Ojha [ओझा]  claiming to be Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण], the Janghra [जांगडा] Rājputs [राजपूत], the Dhīmar [धीमर] Kahārs [कहार], the Chamār Barhai [चमार बढ़ई], Chamārs [चमार], and so on.

Akin again to these are the class of turners—

  • Kharādi [खरादी] (Arabic, kharāt [خرط/खराद], “a lathe”),
  • Kuner,
  • Kundera, and, 
  • in the Hills, Chunyāra.

In Mirzāpur [मिर्ज़ापुर] this sub-caste are occupied in making the stems of the huqqa [हुक़्क़ा] pipe out of the wood of the acacia (khair [खैर]). They appear to take their name from Sanskrit kunda, a bowl.

3. Marriage rules.

To the east of the Province Barhais [बढ़ई] marry their daughters usually at the age of seven, nine, or eleven ; and boys, at nine, eleven, and thirteen. They will not intermarry with a member of their own family or that of their maternal uncle or father's sister as long as there is any recollection of relationship. They have four forms of marriage: Charhauwa, which is the respectable form ,· Dola [दोला], for poor people, Adala Badala, when two families exchange brides, and Sagāi [सगाई], for widows.

The levirate is permitted but not enforced, and the widow’s right of selecting her second partner is recognised. The rules of morality are strict, and a woman intriguing with a clansman or a stranger is liable to excommunication. Those who are guilty of an intrigue with a member of the clan can be restored to caste by paying money to Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण], and bathing in a sacred stream : in bad cases a pilgrimage to Prayāg [प्रयाग] (Allahābād [इलाहाबाद]), Benares [वाराणसी] , or Ajudhya [अयोध्या], is necessary. When a woman is expelled for an intrigue with a clansman, and conducts herself respectably for some time, she is re-admitted to caste by the council, and allowed to contract a sagāi [सगाई] marriage.

4. Religion.

Barhais [बढ़ई] who live in cities are usually Saivas [शैव], because they are not prohibited from the use of meat and wine. The village Barhais [बढ़ई] seldom become initiated into any regular sect. Their clan deities in the Eastern Districts are the Pānchonpīr [पांचों पीर], Mahābīr [महावीर], Devi [देवी], Dulha Deo [दुलादेव], and a deity of rather uncertain functions, known as Bibiha Deva [बीवहीहा देवा], or the “lady god.” They also worship Viswakarma [विश्वकर्म], their divine ancestor, and he is represented by the wooden yard measure (gaz, gaj [गज). This has a special worship in the month of Sāwan [सावन]. A square is made in which it is placed, and to it are offered sandalwood, flowers, red lead (rori [रोरी), and sweetmeats (halwa [हलवा]). This worship is supported by a general contribution. The worship is done by a Brāhman [ब्राह्मण], and the sweets distributed among the worshippers. In the month of Kuār [क्वार], the other tribal deities are worshipped. Sweetmeats (halwa [हलवा]), sweet bread, gram, and some sugar balls (laddu [लड्डू]) are offered to Mahābīr [महावीर] on a Tuesday. Bhawāni [भवानी] or Devi [देवी] receives the sacrifice of a goat or ram, garlands of flowers, and coloured cloth (chunari [चुनरी]). Rice milk (khīr [खीर]), and cakes (pūri [पूरी]) are dedicated to the Pānchonpīr [पांचों पीर]. Only wives married in the regular (charhauwa) form are allowed to share in the worship of the tribal deities. In Basti [बस्ती] they worship Mahābīr [महावीर], Purabi Deota [पूरवी देवता] or “the Eastern godling,” and Phūlmati Bhawāni [फूलमती भवानी]. Purabi Deota [पूरवी देवता] gets an offering of clothes and rude ornaments on a Saturday : Phūlmati [फूलमती] and Mahābīr [महावीर] get, respectively, sweets and flowers on Monday and Tuesday. Mālis [माली], Gusāīns [गोसाईं], and Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] receive the offerings made to Mahābīr [महावीर] and Phūlmati [फूलमती], while the offerings to Purabi Deota [पूरवी देवता] are taken home and consumed by the worshippers themselves. Their priests are Tiwari Brāhmans [तिवारी ब्राह्मण], who hold a low rank in the caste. The dead are cremated, and the ashes thrown into the Ganges [गंगा] or one of its tributaries. Water is poured on the ground in honour of the sainted dead during the first fortnight of Kuār [क्वार]: lumps of rice and म्ilk are offered on the thirteenth day, and uncooked grain is given to Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण]. Those who die of cholera or small-pox are either buried or their bodies thrown into running water. When the epidemic is over, they, as well as a person dying in a foreign land, are burnt in effigy in the regular way. This must be done within six months after the death.

5. Occupation and social status.       

Carpentry is one of the ancient Hindu trades, and is mentioned in the Rigveda [ऋग्वेद]. The village carpenter is one of the recognised village menials and receives dues of grain at each harvest from his constituents (jajmān [जजमान]), whose agricultural implements he is bound to keep in order. The rate in Oudh [अवध] is thirty village sers [सेर] at each crop from each plough. This is known as tihāi. He also receives one ser [सेर]  of each kind of grain from each cultivator's threshing floor before it is removed. This is called anjali [अंजली]. For seven months, Jeth [जेठ] to Aghan [अगहन]—May to November, his services are required. For the remaining five months he works at his own business, making cots (chārpai [चारपाई]), carts (gāri [गाड़ी]), domestic utensils, and house carpentry. For this he receives special wages. In the Eastern Districts it is about twelve sers [सेर]  per plough. In Bareilly [बरेली] it is seven-and-a-half to twelve large (pakka [पक्का]) sers [सेर]  per plough per harvest. Some city carpenters who set up workshops and employ workmen do a good business in making conveyances, furniture, etc. They eat pakki [पक्की]  or food cooked with butter by all Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण], Kshatriyas [क्सत्रिय], and Vaisyas [वैश्य], except Kalwārs [कलवार]. They eat kachchi [कच्ची] cooked by Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] and castemen. All Hindus drink water from their hands. Some Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] will eat pakki [पक्की] cooked by them. Inferior Hindus, such as the Chamār [चमार], Nāi [नाई], or Bāri [बारी], will eat kachchi [कच्ची] cooked by them. In the villages many hold land as tenants in addition to their hereditary trade."

[Quelle: Crooke, William <1848-1923>: The tribes and castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh. -- Calcutta : Office of the superintendent of government printing, 1896 - 4 Bde. : Ill. -- Bd. 1. -- S. 190 - 194]

Kathiyāra [कठियार] (NW Provinces und Oudh)

"Kathiyāra [कठियार].3(Sanskrit kāshtha kāra [काष्ठकार]. a worker in wood.”) — A small caste of bricklayers and carpenters, who were recorded in the Aligarh [अलीगढ़] District in 1881, but have probably been included in the Rāj [राज] or Barhai [बढ़ई] caste at the last Census. They have five exogamous sections—
  • Kathar,
  • Kokās,
  • Sakoriya,
  • Hindoliya, and
  • Hirnotiya.

They marry outside their section and not in the section of their ancestors on the father’s or mother’s side, as long as any relationship is remembered, or in families to whom they have, within memory,given a bride. They may marry two sisters, but not at the same time, nor the younger before the elder.

2. Legend of origin.

The legend told by the caste runs that Sita [सीता], the deserted wife of Rāma Chandra [रामचंद्र], was living in the forest with the Rishi [ऋषि] Bharadwaja[भरद्वाज]. She had one son, Lava; and one day she happened to go to fetch water, taking the child with her. When Bharadwaja [भरद्वाज] returned in her absence, he missed the child, and blaming himself for his carelessness in allowing it to be taken away by a wild beast, he made another child in its image out of kusa [कुश] grass. When Sita [सीता] returned with her baby in her arms she was surprised to see the other child; but she adopted it as her own, and from his origin he was called Kusa [कुश]. At the contest of the Aswamedha [अश्वमेध] he fought so hard (kathara) that his descendants were called Kathiyāra [कठियार]. They fix their original head-quarters at Sambhal [संभल] in the Morādābād [मुरादाबाद] District, and thence to Jalesar [जलेसर] and Aligarh [अलीगढ़], about one hundred and fifty years ago. On account of their descent from kusa [कुश], they will not sleep on kusa [कुश] grass, nor will they cut or use it ; in other words, kusa [कुश] grass was possibly a totem.

3. Marriage rules.   

They practise adult marriage and sexual license before marriage is lightly regarded. Their marriage ceremonies are of the normal type. Widows marry by karāo [कराव]. A wife can be divorced for adultery, with the permission of the tribal council, and she cannot be again married in the caste.

4. Religion.

They worship the Miyān of Amroha [अमरोहा] or Jalesar [जलेसर], Zāhirpīr [ظاہر پیر], and Jakhiya. Of Miyān they say that his name was Mīrān. He was an ordinary Faqīr [فقیر] at Amroha [अमरोहा]. One day he was rebuilding the wall of his hermitage (takiya), when he found an old lamp that belonged to the Jinn [جن]. When he took it home and lighted it the Jinn [جن] appeared and bowed down before him. One day he ordered the Jinn [جن] to bring him the daughter of the king of Rūm [روم]. He did so, and Mīrān was so pleased with her that he made the Jinn [جن] bring her every night. At last her father noticed that she was pale; so he got her to tell him what was going on. When the king heard the case he was wroth, and sent his own four Jinns [جن]  to arrest Mīrān. When  Mīrān heard of this he was afraid and asked his Jinn [جن] to protect him. They advised him to get into his water vessel (badhana [बधना]), and when the Jinns [جن] of the king of Rūm [روم] came they carried him off in the pot as he was. The king, when he heard of the magical power of Mīrān, was afraid to open the pot, and he had it buried in the hermitage which he used to occupy at Amroha [अमरोहा] [अमरोहा]. Mīrān implored his Jinn [جن] to release him, but they refused, on account of his iniquity, and he is there still and is widely worshipped.

5.  Of Jakhiya the tale is thus told : There was once the wife of a Brāhman [ब्राह्मण], who was taking food to her husband, when she was forced by a sweeper and became in child. She told her husband what had happened; he, believing her innocent, forgave her, and kept the matter secret. When her seventh month had passed, one day her husband beat her for some fault, and the child cried out against him from her womb. The Brāhman [ब्राह्मण] was stricken with fear and determined to kill the child. When the baby was born, in fear of his father, he took refuge in the pig-stye of a sweeper, and there his father killed him. As he was dying he implored Bhagwān [भगवान्] that his next birth should be in some high-caste family. So he has since then been worshipped. He is also known by the name of Masān [मसान] or the deity of the cremation ground. Children suffering from convulsions are taken to his shrine and most of them recover. The cure is attributed by some to the thaumaturgic power of the saint, and by others to the electrical effect of the peacock feathers with which the patient is fanned continuously for three days.

6. Social status and occupation

They employ Sanādh Brāhmans [सनाढ्य ब्राह्मण] as their family priests. They do not perform the regular srāddha [श्रद्धा], but, during the fortnight sacred to the dead (kanāgat [कनागत]) they usually feed a Brāhman [ब्राह्मण] or two, and do the same on the anniversary of a death in the family. They work as carpenters and bricklayers. The only meat they eat is mutton; they drink spirits, and those who abstain both from meat and wine are considered more respectable than the others. They will not eat, drink or smoke with any other caste but their own. They cat kachchi [कच्ची] cooked by Brāhmans [ब्राह्मण] and pakki [पक्की]  cooked by Ahīrs [अहीर], Lodhas [लोधा], Mālis [माली], and Kahārs [कहार] [कहार]."

[Quelle: Crooke, William <1848-1923>: The tribes and castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh. -- Calcutta : Office of the superintendent of government printing, 1896 - 4 Bde. : Ill. -- Bd. 3. -- S. 179 - 181]

Thavai (NW Provinces und Oudh)

"Thavai(Sanskrit sthapati [स्थपति], “a master-builder”).—The caste of masons and bricklayers. At the last Census they appear to have been included under Rāj [राज] (q. v.). They are the Thavi of the Panjāb [ਪੰਜਾਬ ], who is a mason and bricklayer in the hills, and claims to have been originally a Brāhman [ब्राह्मण], who was degraded because be took to working in stone. The caste is purely occupational and contains both Hindus and Muhammadans ; the latter say that their first ustād [استاد] or teacher was Baba Ibrahim [بابا إبراهيم], or father Abraham [אַבְרָהָם]. The Hindu branch say the same of Viswakarma [विश्वकर्म], the architect of the gods. The Muhammadan branch worship their tools at the Id [عيد] festival, and offer sweetmeat to them. The Hindu Thavais, when they commence work in the morning, say Viswakarma ki jay ho, “ Glory to Viswakarma [विश्वकर्म].”"

[Quelle: Crooke, William <1848-1923>: The tribes and castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh. -- Calcutta : Office of the superintendent of government printing, 1896 - 4 Bde. : Ill. -- Bd. 4. -- S. 410f.]