Rajasthan People

THE DIVERSIFIED COMMUNITIES OF RAJASTHAN

The variegated diversity among the people of iconic India can certainly be witnessed in the state of Rajasthan. The Desert Land is lined with cultural natives imbibed with traditional values and clad in vibrant turbans and attractive attires. 

 Even though the caste of a person no more decides their profession anymore, the castes and sub caste system still exist in various parts of Rajasthan. The traditional essence of royalty is still intact within the Rajasthanis. The contemporary and fast paced lifestyle has affected them very little. Tourists from all over the globe flock here to experience the diversity and vibrancy. 

Tribal were the native inhabitants of Rajasthan. Every tribe has their unique traits but shares some common characteristics too. Rajasthani tribal form approximately twelve percent of the total population of the state. The Bhils and the Minas are the significant tribes of Rajasthan. Among the smaller tribes are Sahariyas, Gaduliya Lohars and the Garasias. The common traits shared by the different tribes of Rajasthan is linked in their past. Each tribe is identified by their difference in costumes, festivals and ornaments.

Rajasthani Tribal Woman // Image Courtesy – Atlas of Humanity

Bhils, the main tribal community of Rajasthan constitutes approximately 39% of the total tribal population in Rajasthan. Banswara area is dominated by this tribal group. They were believed to be fine archers and historical evidence of several Bhil bowmen can be found in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In order to prevent themselves from getting endangered, the Bhils were married off in the Rajput community. Numerous Bhils congregate at the Baneshwar festival held in Dungarpur to rejoice by singing and dancing at the festival. Holi is a major festival for them too. Superstition is deep rooted among the Bhils.

Meenas being the second dominant tribe in Rajasthan, is allocated over a sprawling area of Shekhawati and other eastern parts of Rajasthan. Their roots can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilization.

This community have sturdy, athletic and sharp features including large eyes, light brown complexion and thick lips. They are married off before the legal age of eighteen. Thus the literacy rate is quite low.

Gadiya Lohars were a martial community. They derived their name from the traditional bullock carts popularly called gadis. Currently they are nomadic in nature and are in the profession of blacksmiths. They left their native land after Maharana Pratap was ousted from Chittorgarh by Emperor Akbar.

Garasias are a small Rajput tribe that is allocated in southern Rajasthan, along the Abu Road. Marriage by eloping is an interesting custom followed by this tribal community.

Sahariyas lived in the jungle and resided in parts of Kota, Dungarpur and Sawai Madhopur. These areas are in southern Rajasthan. Thought to be of Bhil origin, they are considered the most backward community in Rajasthan. Hunting and fishing are the main sources of earning a livelihood.

Damors were chiefly associated to agriculture. They were cultivators and manual labourers who migrated from Gujarat and settled in Rajasthan. They dominate parts of Udaipur and Dungarpur districts.

Other insignificant but still prevailing tribes of Rajasthan include Meo and Banjara- the nomadic tribes, Rabaris- the cattle breeders, Kathodi- who inhabits the Mewar region, Kanjar and Sansi.

Multi coloured apparels form the integral part of this desert state. The colour blocking cultural costumes and head gears of the Rajasthanis represent a completely contrasting picture to the barren and colourless landscape of sand dunes. These bright textiles and fabrics comes to rescue to break the monotonous dullness in the atmosphere. Sometime certain colours or costumes are related to a particular tribe or community.

Rajasthani Tribal Man // Image Courtesy – Atlas of Humanity

Rajasthani women adorn themselves in speculating silver jewellery. From mangtika to bugadis, to heavy anklets and gorgeous neckpieces, these women ace it all. They know exactly how to compliment the extravagant lehnga choli with their age old silver ornaments. Certain designs are inherent to specific tribe. Their characteristics are reflected in the ornaments. Ornaments of neck, nose, ear and hand are worn by Rajasthani women on regular basis but on special occasions and social gatherings specific intricate ornaments are worn to highlight the overall look. Eye catching designs of the jewellery and ornaments of Rajasthan has made them popular not only amongst the females of India but have become famous among the women of foreign countries too. The Splendid Safas or commonly called Turbans or Pagdi, vary with varying religion and region. The Rajput turbans are completely diverse from that of Sikh and the Arab turbans.

Not only the delicious gourmet, water and local languages but the style of turbans also varies within every ten to twelve miles in Rajasthan. Surprisingly, there are more than thousand different styles of tying turbans. Each style of the turban highlights the region, caste and class through the draping style. Regular ones are of muted shades whereas special turbans for grand occasions are made from luxurious textiles and vigorous colours.

The native women of Rajasthan are identified for their elegance and grace. The lineage of strong and beautiful women represents Rajasthan. Maharani Padmini Devi of Chittaurgarh is one such lady who reflects class and royal attitude. She was a lady of substance and was highly regarded for her valour and vigour worldwide. Another iconic beauty from the land of royals is Maharani Gayatri Devi- popularly known as the Rajmata of Jaipur, was listed among the ten most beautiful women in the world. Not only her mesmerizing charm but her choice of fashion was considered as one of the best.

If you have not visited Rajasthan yet, then have a look at the multi faceted diverse range of people who are spread all over the state. Travellers and tourists from allover the world flock here to experience this ultimate heterogeneous culture.

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About Samiksha Dashora

To the new beginning from dusk to dawn of my time, I shall grow like forest fire. Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.

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