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interchangeable. The Injhwars are thus a caste formed from the Binjhwars or highest subdivision of the Baiga tribe of Balaghat ; they have adopted the social customs of the Marathi-speaking people among whom they live, and have been formed into a separate caste through a corruption of their name. They still worship Injha or Vindhya Devi, the tutelary deity of the Vindhyan hills, from which the name of the Binjhwars is derived. The Injhwars have also some connection with the Gowari or cowherd caste of the Maratha country. They are sometimes known as Dfidh-Gowari, and say that this is because an Injhwar woman was a wet-nurse of the first-born Gowari. The Gowaris themselves, as a low caste of herdsmen frequenting the jungles, would naturally be brought into close connection-with both the Baigas and Gonds. Their alliances with the Gonds have produced the distinct caste of Gond-Gowari, and it is not improbable that one fact operating to separate the Injhwars from their parent tribe of the Baigas was an admixture of Gowari blood. But they rank higher than the Gond-Gowaris, who are regarded as impure; this is probably on account of the superior position of the Binjhwars, who form the aristocracy of the Baiga tribe, and, living in the forests, were never reduced to the menial and servile condition imposed on the Gond residents in Hindu villages. The Injhwars, however, admit the superiority of the Gowaris by taking food from their hands, a favour which the latter will not reciprocate. Several of the sept or family names of the caste are also taken from the Gonds, and this shows an admixture of Gond blood; the Injhwars are thus probably a mixed group of Gonds, Gowaris, and Binjhwars or Baigas.
The Injhwars have four subcastes, three of the territorial and one of the occupational class. These are the Lanjiwar, or those living round Lanji in Balaghat; the Korre, or those of the Korai hill tract in Seoni ; the Chandewar or Maratha Injhwars who belong to Chanda, and are distinguished by holding their weddings only in the evening after the Maratha custom, while other Injhwars will perform the ceremony at any time of day; and the Sonjharias, or those who have taken to washing for gold in the beds of streams. Of their sept or family names some, as already stated, are taken from
II MARRIAGE AND OTHER CUSTOMS 215
the Gonds, as Mesram, Tekam, Marai, Ukya.1 Three names, Bhoyar, Kawara and Kohrya (from Kohli), are the names of other castes or tribes, and indicate that members of these became Injhwars and founded families; and others are of the territorial, titular and totemistic types. Among them may be mentioned the Pithvalyas, from pab, flour; all families of this sept should steal a little rice from somebody else’s field as soon as it is ripe, husband and wife making a joint expedition for the purpose. They must not speak a ).' word to each other from the time they start until they have brought back the rice, pounded and cooked it, offered it to the god and made their meal. The Paunpats, named after the lotus, will not touch the flowers or leaves of the lotus plants, or even drink water from a tank in which the lotus grows. The Dobokria Rawats are so named because they make an offering of two goats to their gods. Some of the septs are subdivided. Thus the Sonwani or gold-water sept, whose members readmit social culprits, is divided into the Paunpat or lotus Sonwanis ; the Gurhiwal, who revere a brass vessel tied to a bamboo on the first day of the year; the Sati Sonwani, who worship the spirit of a sati woman ancestor; and the Mfingphatia Sonwanis, whose token is the broken mung pulse. At present these subsepts cannot intermarry, the union of any two Sonwanis being forbidden, but it seems likely that intermarriage may be permitted in the course of time.
The social customs of the Injhwars resemble those of 3. Marthe lower Maratha castes.2 Marriage is forbidden between and members of the same sept and first cousins, and a man should customs. also not take a wife from the sept of his brother or sister-inlaw. This rule prevents the marriage of two brothers to two sisters, to which there is of course no objection on the ground of affinity. Girls are usually not married until they are grown up; but in places where they have been much subjected to Hindu influences, the Injhwars will sometimes wed an adult girl to a basil plant in order to avoid the stigma of keeping her in the house unmarried. The boy’s father goes to make a proposal of marriage, and the girl’s father, if he approves it, intimates his consent by washing
1 A corruption of Uika. 2 See the articles Mahir and Kunbi.
4. Occupation and social status.
his visitor’s feet. A bride-price of about Rs. 20 is, usually paid, which is increased somewhat if the bridegroom is a widower, and decreased if the bride has been seduced before marriage. The marriage is performed by throwing coloured rice over the couple. Divorce and the remarriage of widows are permitted. A bachelor who marries a widow must first go through the ceremony with an arka or swallowwort plant, this being considered his real marriage. The Injhwars usually bury the dead, and in accordance with Dravidian custom place the corpse in the grave with the feet to the north. When the body is that of a young girl, the face is left exposed as it is carried to the grave. The regular ceremonies are performed for the welfare of the deceased’s soul, and they try to ascertain its fate in the next incarnation by spreading flour on the ground overnight and looking in the morning for anything resembling the footmark of a human being, animal or bird. On the festival of Akhatij and in the month of Kfirtik (October) they offer libations to the dead, setting out a large pitcher of water for a male and a small one for a female. On the former they paint five lines of sandalwood to represent a man’s caste-mark, and on the latter five splashes of kunku or the red powder which women rub on their foreheads. A burning lamp is placed before the pitchers, and they feed a male Mali or gardener as representative of a dead man and a female for a woman.
The Injhwars are generally labourers and cultivators, while the Sonjharias wash for gold. The women of the Maratha or Chandewar subcaste serve as midwives. Their social status is low, and in the forest tracts they will eat snakes and crocodiles, and in fact almost anything except beef. They will admit members of the Brahman, Dhimar (waterman), Mali and Gowari castes into the community on payment of a premium of five to fifteen rupees and a dinner to the caste-fellows. The candidate for admission, whether male or female, must have his head shaved clean. Both men and women can obtain pardon for a liaison with an outsider belonging to any except the most impure castes by giving a feast to the community. To be beaten with a shoe involves temporary excommunication from caste, unless the
11 [ADAM 217
striker be a Government official, when no penalty is inflicted. If a man kills a cat, he is required to have an image of it made in silver, which, after being worshipped, is presented to a temple or thrown into a river.
J§.dam.1—A branch of the well-known Yadu or Yadava sept of Rajpfits which has now developed into a caste in the Nerbudda valley. Colonel Tod describes the Yadu as the most illustrious of all the tribes of India, this name having been borne by the descendants of Buddha, progenitor of the Lunar race. The Yadavas were the herdsmen of Mathura, and Krishna was born in this tribe. His son was Bharat, from whom the classical name of Bharatavarsha for India is held to be derived. It is related that when Krishna was about to ascend to heaven, he reflected that the Yadavas had multiplied exceedingly and would probably cause trouble to the world after he had left it. So he decided to reduce their numbers, and one day he persuaded one of his companions to dress up as a pregnant woman in jest, and they took him to the hermitage of the saint Durvasa and asked the saint to what the woman would give birth. Durvasa, who was of a very irascible temper, divined that he was being trifled with, and replied that a rice-pestle would be born by which the Yadavas would be destroyed. On the return of the party they found to their astonishment that a pestle had actually, as it were, been born from the man. So they were alarmed at the words of the saint and tried to destroy the pestle by rubbing it on a stone. But as the sawdust of the pestle fell on the ground there sprang up from it the shoots of the Gondla or Elephant grass, which grows taller than the head of a man on horseback. And some time afterwards a quarrel arose among the Yadavas, and they tore up the stalks of this grass and slew each other with it. Only one woman escaped, whose son was afterwards the King of Mathura and the ancestor of the existing tribe. Another body, however, with whom was Krishna, fled to Gujarat, and on the coast there built the great temple of Dwarka, in the place known as Jagat Khant or the World’s End. The story has some resemblance to that of the sowing of the dragon’s teeth by Cadmus at Thebes. The principal branches of the Yadavas are the Yaduvansi chiefs of Karauli, in Rajputana, and the Bhatti chiefs of Jaisalmer. The Jadams of Hoshangabad say that they immigrated from Karauli State about 700 years ago, having come to the country on a foray for plunder and afterwards settled here. They have now developed into a caste, marrying among themselves. In Hoshangabad the caste has two subdivisions, the Kachhotia who belong principally to the Sohagpur tahsil, and the Adhodias who live in Seoni and Harda. These two groups are endogamous and do not marry with each other. The Kachhotia are the offspring of irregular unions and are looked down upon by the others. They say that they have fifty-two exogamous groups or sections, but this number is used locally as an expression of indefinite magnitude. All the sections appear to be named after villages where their ancestors once lived, but the preference for totemism has led some of the groups to connect their names with natural objects. Thus the designation of the Semaria section may be held to be derived from a village ‘of that name, both on account of its form, and because the other known section-names are taken from villages. But the Semaria Jadams have adopted the semar or cotton-tree as their totem and pay reverence to this.1 Infant-marriage is favoured in the caste, and polygamy is also prevalent. This is often the case among the agricultural castes, where a man will marry several wives in order to obtain their assistance in his cultivation, a wife being a more industrious and reliable worker than a hired servant. No penalty is, however, imposed for allowing a girl to reach adolescence before marriage, and this not infrequently happens.- If a girl becomes with child through a man of the caste she is united to him by a simple rite known as gzmda, in which she merely gives him a ring or throws a garland of flowers over his neck. A caste feast is 1 Semaria is a common name of Totem is perhaps rather a strong word villages, and is of course as such derived for the kind of veneration paid; the from the semar tree, but the argument vernacular term used in Bombay is
1 This article is partly based on a paper by Bihiri Lal, Patwiri, of Hoshangabad.