2. Dvitīyaṃ kāṇḍam

16. śūdravargaḥ

(Über Śūdras)

2. Vers 5 - 15: Handwerker

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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: Maler. -- Fassung vom 2017-12-13. --  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

ist die gesamte Amarakośa-Übersetzung

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Chitāri [चितारी], Chiter, Chitrakār [चित्रकार], Mahārāna [महाराणा] (Central Provinces)

"Chitāri [चितारी], Chiter, Chitrakār [चित्रकार], Mahārāna [महाराणा]. —-

1. Origin and traditions.

A caste of painters on wood and plaster. Chiter is the Hindustāni [हिंदुस्तानी / ہندوستانی], and Chitāri [चितारी] the Marathi [मराठी] name, both being corruptions of the Sanskrit Chitrakār [चित्रकार]. Mahārāna [महाराणा] is the term used in the Uriya [ଓଡ଼ିଆ] country, where the caste are also known as Phāl-Barhai, or a carpenter who only works on one side of the wood. Chitāri [चितारी] is further an occupational term applied to Mochis [मोची] and Jīngars [जीनगर], or leather-workers, who have adopted the occupation of wall-painting, and there is no reason to doubt that the Chitāris [चितारी] were originally derived from the Mochis [मोची], though they have now a somewhat higher position. In Mandla [मन्द्ला] the Chitrakārs [चित्रकार] and Jīngars [जीनगर] are separate castes, and do not eat or intermarry with one another. Neither branch will take water from the Mochis [मोची], who make shoes, and some Chitrakārs [चित्रकार] even refuse to touch them. They say that the founder of their caste was Biskarma [बिसकर्म = विश्वकर्म], the first painter, and that their ancestors were Rājpūts [राजपूत], whose country was taken by Akbar [1552 - 1605] [جلال الدین محمد اکبر]. As they were without occupation Akbar  then assigned to them the business of making saddles and bridles for his cavalry and scabbards for their swords. It is not unlikely that the Jīngar [जीनगर] caste did really originate or first become differentiated from the Mochis [मोची] and Chamārs [चमार] in Rājputāna [राजपुताना] owing to the demand for such articles, and this would account for the Mochis [मोची] and Jīngars [जीनगर] having adopted Rājpūt [राजपूत] names for their sections, and making a claim to Rājpūt [राजपूत] descent. The Chitrakārs [चित्रकार] of Mandla [मन्द्ला] say that their ancestors belonged to Garha [गरहा], near Jubbulpore [जबलपुर], where the tomb of a woman of their family who became sad is still to be seen. Garha [गरहा], which was once the seat of an important Gond dynasty with a garrison, would also naturally have been a centre for their craft.

Another legend traces their origin from Chitrarekha [चित्रलेखा], a nymph who was skilled in painting and magic. She was the friend of a princess Usha [उषा], whose father was king of Sohāgpur [सोहागपुर] in Hoshangābād [होशंगाबाद]. Usha [उषा] fell in love with a beautiful young prince whom she saw in a dream, and Chitrarekha [चित्रलेखा] drew the portraits of many gods and men for her, until finally Usha [उषा] recognised the youth of her dream in the portrait of Aniruddha [अनिरुद्ध], the grandson of Krishna [कृष्ण]. Chitrarekha [चित्रलेखा] then by her magic power brought Aniruddha [अनिरुद्ध] to Usha [उषा], but when her father found him in the palace he bound him and kept him in prison. On this Krishna [कृष्ण] appeared and rescued his grandson, and taking Usha [उषा] from her father married them to each other. The Chitāris [चितारी] say that as a reward to Chitrarekha [चित्रलेखा], Krishna [कृष्ण] promised her that her descendants should never be in want, and hence members of their caste do not lack for food even in famine time. The Chitāris [चितारी] are declining in numbers, as their paintings are no longer in demand, the people preferring the cheap coloured prints imported from Germany and England.

2. Social customs.

The caste is a mixed occupational group, and those of Marātha [मराठा], Telugu [తెలుగు] and Hindustāni [हिंदुस्तानी / ہندوستانی] extraction marry among  themselves. A few wear the sacred thread, and abstain from eating flesh or drinking liquor, while the bulk of them do not observe these restrictions.

Among the Jīngars [जीनगर] women accompany the marriage procession, but not with the Chitāris [चितारी].

Widow-marriage is allowed, but among the Mahārānas [महाराणा] a wife who has lived with her husband may not marry any one except his younger brother, and if there are none she must remain a widow. In Mandla [मन्द्ला], if a widow marries her younger brother-in-law, half her first husband’s property goes to him finally, and half to the first husband’s children. If she marries an outsider she takes her first husband’s property and children with her. Formerly if a wife misbehaved the Chitāri [चितारी] sometimes sold her to the highest bidder, but this custom has fallen into abeyance, and now if a man divorces his wife her father usually repays to him the expenses of his marriage. These he realises in turn from any man who takes his daughter. A second wife worships the spirit of the dead first wife on the day of Akāhtīj [अखातीज], offering some food and a breast-cloth, so that the spirit may not trouble her.

3. Birth and childhood.

A pregnant woman must stay indoors during an eclipse ; if she goes out and sees it they believe that her child will be born deformed. They think that a woman in this condition must be given any food which she takes a fancy for, so far as may be practicable, as to thwart her desires would affect the health of the child. Women in this condition sometimes have a craving for eating earth ; then they will eat either the scrapings or whitewash from the walls, or black clay soil, or the ashes of cowdung cakes to the extent of a small handful a day. A woman’s first child should be born in her father-in-law’s or husband’s house if possible, but at any rate not in her father’s house. And if she should be taken with the pangs of travail while on a visit to her own family, they will send her to some other house for her child to be born. The ears of boys and the ears and nostrils of girls are pierced, and until this is done they are not considered to be proper members of the caste and can take food from any one’s hand. The Chitāris [चितारी] of Mandla [मन्द्ला] permit a boy to do this until he is married. A child’s hair is not shaved when it is born, but this should be done once before it is three years old, whether it be a boy or girl. After this the hair may be allowed to grow, and shaved off or simply cut as they prefer. Except in the case of illness a girl’s hair is only shaved once, and that of an adult woman is never cut, unless she becomes a widow and makes a pilgrimage to a sacred place, when it is shaved off as an offering.

4. The evil eye.

In order to avert the evil eye they hang round a child’s neck a nut called bajar-battu [बजरबट्टू], the shell of which they say will crack and open if any one casts the evil eye on the child. If it is placed in milk the two parts will come together again. They also think that the nut attracts the evil eye and absorbs its effect, and the child is therefore not injured. If they think that some one has cast the evil eye on a child, they say a charm, ‘Ishwar, Gauri, Pārvati ke ān nazar dur ho jao' or ‘Depart, Evil Eye, in the name of Mahādeo [महादेओ / महादेव] and Pārvati [पार्वती],’ and as they say this they blow on the child three times ; or they take some salt, chillies and mustard in their hand and wave it round the child’s head and say,  Telin kī lāgi ho, Tamolin kī lāgi ho, Marārin kī ho, Gorania (Gondin) kī ho, oke, oke, parparāke phut jāwe.‘ If  it be a Telin [तेलिन] Tambolin, Marārin or Gondin who has cast the evil eye, may her eyes crack and fall out.’ And · at the same time they throw the mustard, chillies and salt on the fire so that the eyes of herwho cast the evil eye may crack and fall out as these things crackle in the fire.

If tiger’s claws are used for an amulet, the points must be turned outwards. If any one intends to wish luck to a child, he says, ‘Tori balayAn leun' and waves his hands round the child’s head several times to signify that he takes upon himself all the misfortunes which are to happen to the child. Then he presses the knuckles of his hands against the sides of his own head till they crack, which is a lucky omen, averting calamity. If the knuckles do not crack at the first attempt, it is repeated two or three times. When a man sneezes he will say ‘Chatrapati [छत्त्रपती],’ which is considered to be a name of Devi [देवी], but is only used on this occasion. But some say nothing. After yawning they snap their fingers, the object of which, they say, is to drive away sleep, as otherwise the desire will become infectious and attack others present. But if a child yawns they sometimes hold one of their hands in front of his mouth, and it is probable that the original meaning of the custom was to prevent evil spirits from entering through the widely opened mouth, or the yawner’s own soul or spirit from escaping ; and the habit of holding the hand before the mouth from politeness when yawning inadvertently may be a reminiscence of this.

5. Cradle-songs.

The following are some cradle-songs taken down from a  Chitrakār [चित्रकार], but probably used by most of the lower Hindu castes :

  1. Mother, rock the cradle of your pretty child. What is the cradlemade of, and what are its tassels made of?
    The cradle is made of sandalwood, its tassels are of silk.
    Some Gaolin [ग्वालिन] (milkwoman) has overlooked the child, he vomits up his milk.
    Dasoda [
    यशोदा] shall wave salt and mustard round his head, and he shall play in my lap.
    My baby is making little steps. O Sunār [सुनार], bring him tinkling anklets !
    The Sunār [सुनार] shall bring anklets for him, and my child will go to the garden and there we will eat oranges and lemons.
  2. My Krishna [कृष्ण]’s tassel is lost, Tell me, some one, where it is. My child is angry and will not come into my arms.
    The tears are falling from his eyes like blossoms from the
    bela [बेला -
    Jasminum sambac] flower.
    He has bangles on his wrists and anklets on his feet, on his head a golden crown and round his waist a silver chain.

    The jhumri or tassel referred to above is a tassel adorned with cowries and hung from the top of the cradle so that the child may keep his eyes on it while the cradle is being rocked.
  3. Sleep, sleep, my little baby ; I will wave my hands round your head on the banks of the Jumna [जमुना]. I have cooked hot cakes for you and put butter in them ; all the night you lay awake, now take your fill of sleep.
    The little mangoes are hanging on the tree ; the rope is in the well ; sleep thou till I go and come back with water.
    I will hang your cradle on the banyan tree, and its rope to the pīpal [
    पीपल - Ficus religiosa L. 1753 not Forssk. 1775] tree ; I will rock my darling gently so that the rope shall never break.
  4. The last song may be given in the vernacular as a specimen :

    Rām kī Chireya, Rām ko khet.

    Khaori Chireya, bhar, bhar pet.
    Tan munaiyān khā lao khet, 
    Agao, labra, gali det ;

    Kahe ko, labra, gāli de ;
    Apni bhuntia gin, gin le.


    The field is Rāma’s [राम], the little birds are Rāma’s [राम] ; O birds, eat your fill ; the little birds have eaten up the corn.
    The surly farmer has come to the field and scolds them ; the little birds say, ‘ O farmer, why do you scold us ? count your ears of maize, they are all there.’

    This song commemorates a favourite incident in the life of Tulsi Dās [
    तुलसीदास, 1532 - 1623], the author of the Rāmāyana [रामायण], who when he was a little boy was once sent by his guru [गुरु] to watch the crop. But after some time the guru [गुरु] came and found the field full of birds eating the corn and Tulsi Dās [तुलसीदास] watching them. When asked why he did not scare them away, he said, ‘Are they not as much the creatures of Rāma [राम] as I am ? how should I deprive them of food ?’

6. Occupation.

The Chitāris [चितारी] pursue their old trade, principally in Nāgpur [नागपूर] city, where the taste for wall-paintings still survives ; and they decorate the walls of houses with their crude red and blue colours. But they have now a number of other avocations. They paint pictures on paper, making their colours from the tins of imported aniline dyeing-powders which are sold in the bazar; but there is little demand for these. They make small pictures of the deities which the people hang on their walls for a day and then throw away. They also paint the bodies of the men who pretend to be tigers at the Muharram [محرم] festival, for which they charge a rupee. They make the clay paper-covered masks of monkeys and demons worn by actors who play the [रामलीला] or story of Rāma [राम] on the Rāmnaomi [राम नवमी] festival in Chait [चैत्र] (March) ; they also make the tazias [ताजिया] or representations of the tomb of Hussain [626 - 680] [الحسين بن علي] and paper figures of human beings with small clay heads, which are carried in the Muharram [محرم] procession. They make marriage crowns ; the frames of these are of conical shape with a half-moon at the top, made from strips of bamboo ; they are covered with red paper picked out with yellow and green and with tinfoil, and are ornamented with borders of date-palm leaves. The crowns cost from four annas to a rupee each. They make the artificial flowers used at weddings ; these are stuck on a bamboo stick and at the arrival and departure of the bridegroom are scrambled for by the guests, who take them home as keepsakes or give them to their children for playthings. The flowers copied are the lotus, rose and chrysanthemum, and the imitations are quite good. Sometimes the bridegroom is surrounded by trays or boxes of flowers, carried in procession and arranged so as to look as if they were planted in beds. Other articles made by the Chitrakār [चित्रकार] are paper fans, paper globes for hanging to the roofs of houses, Chinese lanterns made either of paper or of mica covered with paper, and small caps of velvet embroidered with gold lace. At the Akti festival [अक्षय तृतीया] they make pairs of little clay dolls, dressing them as male and female, and sell them in red lacquered bamboo baskets, and the girls take them to the jungle and pretend that they are married. Formerly the Chitrakārs [चित्रकार] made clay idols for temples, but these have been supplanted by marble images imported from Jaipur [जयपुर]]. The Jīngars [जीनगर] make the cloth saddles on which natives ride, and some of them bind books, the leather for which is made from goat-skin, and is not considered so impure as that made from the hides of cattle. But one class of them, who are considered inferior, make leather harness from cow-hide and buffalo-hide."

[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. 432 - 438]

Chitrakāra [ଚିତ୍ରକାର / ಚಿತ್ರಕಾರ / చిత్రకారుడు] (Oriya, Telugu, Kannada)

Chitrakāra [ଚିତ୍ରକାର] or Chitrakāro.The Chitrakāros of Ganjam [ଗଞ୍ଜାମ], who are a class of Oriya [ଓଡିଆ] painters (chitra [ଚିତ୍ର], painting), are returned in the Census Report, 1901, as a sub-caste of Muchi. In the Mysore [ಮೈಸೂರು] Census Report, 1891, the Chitragāras [ಚಿತ್ರಗಾರ] are said to be

“also called Bannagāra [ಬಣ್ಣಗಾರ] of the Rāchevar (or Rāju [ರಾಜು]) caste. They are painters, decorators and gilders, and make trunks, palanquins, ‘lacquer’ toys and wooden images for temples, cars, etc.”

At Channapatna [ಚನ್ನಪಟ್ಟಣ] in Mysore [ಮೈಸೂರು], I interviewed a Telugu [తెలుగు] Chitrakāra [చిత్రకారుడు], who was making toys out of the white wood of Wrightia tinctoria [(Roxb.) R.Br., Mem. Wern. Soc. 173. 1809.]. The wood was turned on a primitive lathe, consisting of two steel spikes fixed into two logs of wood on the ground. Seated on the floor in front of his lathe, the artisan chucked the wood between the spikes, and rotated it by means of a bow held in the right hand, whereof the string was passed round the wood. The chisel was held between the sole of the right foot and palm of the left hand. Colours and varnish were applied to the rotating toy with sticks of paint like sealing-wax, and strips of palm leaf smeared with varnish. In addition to the turned toys, models of fruits were made from mud and sawdust, cane cradles made by Mēdaras were painted and idols manufactured for the Holi [ಹೋಳಿ] festival at Bangalore [ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು], and the figure of Sidi Vīranna for the local pseudo-hook-swinging ceremony. The Chitrakāras [ಚಿತ್ರಕಾರ], whom I saw at Tumkur [ತುಮಕೂರು], had given up making toys, as it did not pay. They manufacture big wooden idols (grāma dēvata [ಗ್ರಾಮದೇವತಾ]), eg., Ellamma [ಯಲ್ಲಮ್ಮ] and Māriamma, and vehicles for various deities in the shape of bulls, snakes, peacocks, lions, tigers, and horses. They further make painted figures of Lakshmi [ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ], and heads of Gauri [ಗೌರೀ], the wife of Siva [ಶಿವ], decorated with gold-leaf jewels, which are worshipped by Brāhmans, Vakkaligas [ಒಕ್ಕಲಿಗ], Kōmatis, and others at the annual Gauri pūja [ಗೌರೀಪೂಜಾ] ; and mandahāsa [ಮಂದಹಾಸ] (god houses) with pillars carved with figures of Narasimha [ನರಸಿಂಹ] and conventional designs. These mandahāsas [ಮಂದಹಾಸ] serve as a receptacle for the household gods (sālagrāma stone [ಸಾಲಿಗ್ರಾಮಶಿಲೆ], lingam [ಲಿಂಗಂ], etc.), which are worshipped daily by Smarta [ಸ್ಮರ್ತ ] and Mādhva [ಮಾಧ್ವ] Brahmans. These Chitrakāras [ಚಿತ್ರಕಾರ] claimed to be Suryavamsam [ಸೂರ್ಯವಂಶ], or of the lunar race of Kshatriyas [ಕ್ಷತ್ರಿಯ], and wear the sacred thread."

[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 : Govt. Press, 1909. -- 7 Bde. : Ill. ; 24 cm. -- Bd. 2. -- S. 102f.]

Rangsāz [रंगसाज] (NE Provinces und Oudh)

"Rangsāz [रंगसाज] (Rang [रंग], “ colour,” sāz [साज], sākhtan, “ making") —The caste of painters and varnishers. With the almost entire disappearance of the palanquin their business has reduced; but there is a considerable trade in carriage painting and house painting in the larger cities and towns."

[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. 233]