Hiring, CHIN. Grama, . . . 8AX8K.

Batti, Gaon, . . HIND. Bang, SIAM.

Kyoug, . . . LKPCHA. Thiong TIB.

Go, Gao, Gon, Grama, Gama, Gramamu, Gramatu,

Gram, Gam, Ganw, Gaon are derived from

the Sanskrit In former times, in the whole of

India, the property in the land resided in the

village communities, and this is still the case with

the greater part of it. The village community is

not, however, co-extensive with the cultivating

inhabitants of the village ; it consists of the descendants

or representatives of those by whom the

village was, at some remote period, conquered or

reclaimed from waste. In most cases these proprietors

are a part, and in some the whole of

the agricultural population of the village. Any

remainder consists of the descendants of persons

who hare taken np their residence in the village



at later periods, with the permission of the proprietors,

some of whom have remained tenants-atwill

while others have by grant or prescription acquired

a fixity of tenure. The village proprietors

formed prescriptively

the municipal government

of the village, and village government was the

only institution, properly so called, which the

Hindus possessed.

Corporate villages are still in many parts of

India an institution of the country. They are

municipalities governed by a headman, often

hereditary, and the different trades and professions

practised by individuals, who received a

regulated remuneration. Village communes of

India are little republics, having nearly everything

they can want among themselves, and almost

independent of any foreign relations. The village

watchmen are called Pasban, Gorayet, Peik, Douraha

in Hindustan.; Tillari in the south of India

amongst the Teling race ; Paggi in Gujerat. There

never was cultivation in common, but each man

broke up as much land as he could, and it belonged

to him who first tilled it. Local taxes for common

expenses were rateably raised. By the term village

is strictly meant, not merely the collection of

dwellings which the cultivators inhabit, but the

whole area which is in their occupation. Agriculturists

in Northern India dwell in village

communities, in Central India they are village

proprietors, and in Southern and Western India

they are ryots under the ryotwari system, much

like the peasant-proprietors of Europe. Gujerat

cultivators do not live, as those of European

countries do, each upon his own farm, but are

invariably concentrated into villages.

The village system of land assessment is current

in the N.W. Provinces, the Panjab, Nagpur, and

Oudh. In Cuttack is a mixed plan of the ryotwar

and village system.

Land surrounding the village homestead in N.

India is called bara, also in the Upper Doab,

goind. The circle beyond the bara is called

munda, majhola, or agla, and the outer circle

jungle (jangal).

The Gramma-deva, the tutelar deity of a village,

is sometimes one of the Hindu pantheon ; sometimes,

as in the south of India, it is Hanuman ;

sometimes one of the Ammun ; often a shapeless

stone or piece of wood. The Gramma-devata are

generally on the outskirts of the villages, frequently

beneath a tree, and are usually exposed

to the open air without any covering temple. So

long as the affairs of the community are ordinarily

prosperous and no calamity threatens, they are

content with the worship common to the sect to

which they belong, but in seasons of trouble the

Gramma-devata are largely resorted to. When

the calamity is general, such as a drought or a

pestilence, or a murrain amongst the cattle, the

entire village will repair to the village deity, and

seek by prayer and offerings to obtain release.

All the Assamese regard high trees and sequestered

groves as the haunts of spirits. Select

Committee, House of Commons, 1832 ; Forbes'

Rasamala, ii. p. 241 ; Wils. ; Campbell, p. 6 ;

A/or, and Mat. Prog., 1858.

[Quelle: Balfour, Edward <1813-1889>: Cyclopędia of India and of eastern and southern Asia, commercial, industrial and scientific: products of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures / ed. by Edward Balfour. -- 3rd ed. -- London: Quaritch. -- Vol. 3. -- 1885. -- S. 1015f.]