Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rabari Samaj :-

Rabaris are usually divided into four group, on the basis of geographical criteria: the Rabaris of Kutch, of Sourashtra, of north Gujarat and of Rajasthan. All Rabari women dress in severe black, always. What renders their clothes richness is their embroidery, which has highly skilled stitches and superb colour combinations. Women decorate the insides of their homes with mud relief and their household textiles like quilts and shopping bags show off the proficiency of their needlework.

Very unique dress code :

Rabaris too have an unwritten dress code that reveals the status and stature of a person. They have the code for everyday wear, ceremonial and wedding dresses. For instance, the blouse pleated at the breast sets a married woman apart from the single. The older women and widows wear plain black with no embroidery. The outer layer of the dress is a long woolen shawl. Un married women wear white while the married and the elderly wear brown or black. In the case of nubile or young married women, the shawl is adorned with miniscule deep red circular designs, made by the tie-and-dye method. The widow's shawl is plain black. In some regions, Rabari women may embellish their shawl with applique work or embroider the centre seam, add mirrors or ever do up the border.

Rabari Origin :

Meaning of Rabari word is correct. Rabari means outsiders. This is because of their occupation. Rabari's main business use to be raising cattle, Like camel, goat and cow. These cattle need lots of space for barns. They cannot live in a town and have room for their cattle. They started living on the outskirts of towns beyond for this necessity. They gave name to such community Dhani. Dhani means Basati (community). As it was out side the main community. So the name became Rabari for these people.
Another myth is very prevalent, that Rabari are the descendant of lord Shiva. Rabari are the remnant of Huns, who invaded India in the fifth century AD. The Hun king Mihirakla converted to Hinduism in sixth century. King Mihirakula adapted Hindu religion, and became a devotee of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is the destroyer of evil in Hindu mythology. King Mihirakula certainly followed his God. In the wake of his conquest of northern India, he not only conquered the territory, but destroyed many human lives and property in the process.
Now a days a very small percentage of Rabari are nomadic. (1-2%) Most of the grazing land is gone in India. , because of an increase in human population. After independence of India, many other opportunities opened up in business and education. So most Rabari at present day have settled down in their original communities, and are engaging in commerce and agriculture. Many have entered into politics. In state of Gujrat some Rabaries became ministers and some became member of parliament in Delhi. Education has opened up other avenue for them. So many became lawyers,engineers,teachers,nurses,dentists,doctors and MOD staff. Not all Rabari live in India now,some who wanted a better life,live abroad in countries like Canada,USA,UK and Australia.

Lifestyle :

Traditionally they are camel herders, and were once a nomadic people. These days the Rabari can be said to be semi-nomadic. They live in small hamlets of round huts with mud walls and thatched roofs. The women manage the hamlets and are shrewd and intelligent. They sell wool and clarified butter to city merchants and manage all money matters. The women are strong, tall and well built. The Rabari men can often be seen roaming the countryside with their droves. They travel hundreds of miles on annual migration routes in search of new pastures to graze their animals.
The Rabari women are easily distinguished by their long, black headscarves, which fall loosely to the ground. They wear distinctive heavy brass earrings which hang low, stretching the earlobes. They tattoo magical symbols onto their necks, breasts and arms. Their jewelry is modest in comparison to other tribal women. They wear small gold nose ring and silver and gold chains around the neck on which protective amulets are hung. Few simple glass bracelets adorn their arms. Rabari girls can be married from as young as 15-months old. All Rabari marriages take place on the same day once a year and can be very extravagant event involving polygamist rites.
They are identified by different names in different regions of the country. Ahir, Maldhari Dhanwer, Gowda etc. The only commonality is the profession of cattle raising. They are living in different parts of India for millennia. While Rabari are comparatively recent migrant. They are the part of Huns (Hunas). Other tribe each claim different origin. An example, Oraon are earliest inhabitant (Abrogenial) of Orisa province in south east India. Prier to the arrival of Aryan tribe or Sanskrit speaking people. Reference Structure of Hindu society by N.K. Bose published by Oriental Longman limited Delhi in 1937. Gowda claim origin from Dravidians. Dravidians were the original people in India . They are the one who established Indus civilization. Reference Harpa and Monajodaro archaeological findings. These sites were in Indus valley thousands years prier to arrival of Aryan. These other tribes or caste are good, but none of them have any genealogical, hereditary, endogeny or exogeny relation ships to each other. Each of these are proud people. They developed their profession (cattle raising) independently of each other in different part of India over thousands of years ago. Reference to support this statement is found in the books published in twentieth century by many authors. Particularly by N.K.Bose as above. Second book, Castes. (The emergence of the South Asian social system) by Mortan Klass. Published by- Institute for study of Human issue, Philadelphia. PA. USA.
Andar, Ahiyaru , Ahir, Appugol, Maldhari / Bharwad / Rabari, Bharavadaru, Dhangar, Dhangad / Dhanwar / Dhanka /Dhangod, Doddi Gowda, Gadhariya, Gadaria, Gowda, Gaddi, Gadri, Gollavadu, Gounder, Halumatha, Heggades, Idyar, Khuruk, Kuda, Kuruba, Kuruba Gowda, Kurumba, Kurmar, Kurumbar, Kalavar, Kuruma, Kurumavaaru, Kurkhi, Kurupu, Naikers, Nikhers, Oraon, Pal / Pala, Palaru, Paalakyatriya, Poduvar, Yadavalu, [ Pashupalak, Rayka.
There are number of areas where Rabari community live, and majority of Rabari's live in all over in the states of India's Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhyapradesh and then now they are get involved and played important roles in the development of India by the developing their self in education, milk business etc.

Religious :

The Rabari are worshippers of Mata Devi, the great all-embracing goddess. Many of them serve as priests in Mata Devi temples throughout Gujarat. Mata Devi, however is honored in all her natural elements, the most popular being the peacock feather and the conch shell. [ The another most important hearty place of Rabari is SHREE VADVALA MANDIR, DUDHREJ, SURENDRANAGAR, GUJARAT.

One can also see :

Shree VALINATH AKHADA TARBH is also a part of rabari tamples. Rabari believes in 'GOGA MAHARAJ’ which is normally snakes and for rabaris it’s a kind of god we call them as GOGA MAHARAJ and this shows rabaris love towards the nature as well as animals.