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People and Tribes of Rajasthan

Rajasthani people and tribesA land is defined by its people. So is the case with Rajasthan. The rich heritage, varied traditions and the famous ‘culture’ of Rajasthan are all because of the diversity of people living on the land of Rajasthan.

In the earlier times in India, the people were identified by their professions and this gave birth to the caste system. Today, people have the freedom to opt for any profession irrespective of caste. The profession based caste system has now been transformed into a caste system based on birth. People of various castes and sub-castes reside in Rajasthan.

The Rajputs have ruled the state of Rajasthan for a good part of its history and form a majority of the residents of Rajasthan. Rajputs are believed to be descendants of Aryans. Rajputs are stoutly built people of good height. The Rajput clans are Hindus and worship Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

There are several trading communities that have originated in Rajasthan. Prominent among these are the Marwaris from Marwar now called Jodhpur, and Oswals hailing from Osiyan also near Jodhpur; they predominately follow the Jain religion.

Among the tribes of Rajasthan, Minas (Minawati) are found in Alwar, Jaipur, Bharatpur, and Dholpur areas. The Meo and the Banjara communities are travelling tradesmen and artisans. The Gadia Lohar (Lohar means ironsmith) community travels on Gadia meaning bullock carts; their profession is to make and repair agricultural and household implements. The Bhils are one of the oldest people of India; they inhabit the districts of Bhilwara, Chittaurgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, Udaipur, and Sirohi. Bhils are known for their skill in archery. The Grasia and nomadic Kathodi live in the Mewar region. Sahariyas are found in the Kota district, and the Rabaris of the Marwar region are cattle breeders.

Muslims form less than 10% of the population of Rajasthan; most of them are Sunnis. There is also a small but affluent community of Shiaite Muslims known as Bhoras found in southeastern Rajasthan.


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