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The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV

The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV
  • #: 247687
  • Price: $0.99 In Apple Store
  • Category: Books
  • Updated: 2009-07-03
  • Current Version: 1.0
  • 1.0
  • Size: 4.20 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Roger Lichfield
  • Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 2.2 or later
  • © 2009
  •  Add to Favorite apps

 

Description

Here are some few paragraphs from the book,

Kumhar, Kumbhar.—The caste of potters, the name being derived from the Sanskrit kumbh, a water-pot. The Kumhars numbered nearly 120, 000 persons in the Central Provinces in 1911 and were most numerous in the northern and eastern or Hindustani-speaking Districts, where earthen vessels have a greater vogue than in the south. The caste is of course an ancient one, vessels of earthenware having probably been in use at a very early period, and the old Hindu scriptures consequently give various accounts of its origin from mixed marriages between the four classical castes. "Concerning the traditional parentage of the caste, " Sir H. Risley writes, 1 "there seems to be a wide difference of opinion among the recognised authorities on the subject. Thus the Brahma Vaivartta Purana says that the Kumbhakar or maker of water-jars (kumbka), is born of a Vaishya woman by a Brahman father; the Parasara Samhita makes the father a Malakar (gardener) and the mother a Chamar; while the Parasara Padhati holds that the ancestor of the caste was begotten of a Tili woman by a Pattikar or weaver of silk cloth." Sir Monier Williams again, in his Sanskrit Dictionary, describes them as the offspring of a Kshatriya woman by a Brahman. No importance can of course be attached to such statements as the above from the point of view of actual fact, but they are interesting as showing the view taken of the formation of castes by the old Brahman writers, and also the position given to the Kumhar at the time when they wrote. This varies from a moderately respectable to a very humble one according to the different accounts of his lineage. The caste themselves have a legend of the usual Brahmanical type: "In the Kritayuga, when Maheshwar (Siva) intended to marry the daughter of Hemvanta, the Devas and Asuras2 assembled at Kailas (Heaven). Then a question arose as to who should furnish the vessels required for the ceremony, and one Kulalaka, a Brahman, was ordered to make them. Then Kulalaka stood before the assembly with folded hands, and prayed that materials might be given to him for making the pots. So Vishnu gave his Sudarsana (discus) to be used as a wheel, and the mountain of Mandara was fixed as a pivot beneath it to hold it up. The scraper was Adi Kurma the tortoise, and a rain-cloud was used for the water-tub. So Kulalaka made the pots and gave them to Maheshwar for his marriage, and ever since his descendants have been known as Kumbhakar or maker of water-jars."

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