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 2017-10-28. --  URL:                                                        

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Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung Sanskrit von Tüpfli's Global Village Library

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]