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ancestors, having been imprisoned for resistance to authority, were released on the promise that they would follow a woman's occupation of spinning thread. In the Central Provinces they are sometimes called Renhta Rājputs or Knights of the Spinning Wheel. The tradition of Rājpüt descent need not of course be taken seriously. The drudgery of spinning thread was naturally imposed on any widow in the household, and hence the saying, “It is always moving, like a widow's spinning-wheel.’" The Katias have several subcastes, with names generally derived from places in the Central Provinces, as Pathäri from a village in the Chhindwära District, Mandilwār from Mandla, Gadhewāl from Garha, near Jubbulpore, and so on. The Dulbuha group consist of those who were formerly palanquin-bearers (from doli, a litter). They have also more than fifty exogamous septs, with names of the usual lowcaste type, derived from places, animals or plants, or natural objects. Some of the septs are subdivided. Thus the Nâgotia sept, named after the cobra, is split up into the Nâgotia, Dirat” Nāg, Bhārowar” Nāg, Kosam Karia and Hazāri" Nāg groups. It is said that the different groups do not intermarry; but it is probable that they do, as otherwise there seems to be no object in the subdivision. The Kosam Karias worship a cobra at their weddings, but not the others. The Singhotia sept, from singh, a horn, is divided into the Bakaria (goat) and Ghāgar-bharia (one who fills an earthen vessel) subsepts. The Bakarias offer goats to their gods; and the Ghāgar-bharias on the Akti" festival, just before the breaking of the rains, fill an earthen vessel and worship it, and consider it sacred for that day. Next day it is brought into ordinary use. The Dongaria sept, from dongar, a hill, revere the chheola tree." They choose any tree of this species outside the village, and say that it is placed on a hill, and go and worship it once a year. In this case it would appear that a hill was first venerated as an animate being and the ancestor of the sept. When hills were no longer so regarded, a chheola tree growing on a hill Temple and Fallon's Hindustani * A thousand.

Arozerbs. 5 - - -
* Perhaps a leather strap or belt. The third Baisakh (June).
3. A revolution or circuit. * Butea frondosa.


2. Subcastes and exogamous groups.

was substituted; and now the tree only is revered, probably a good deal for form's sake, and so far as the hill is concerned, the mere pretence that it is growing on a hill is sufficient.

3. Mar- A man must not take a wife from his own sept nor from

£ that of his mother or grandmother. Girls are commonly married between eight and twelve years of age; and a customary payment of Rs. 9 is made to the father of the bride, double this amount being given by a widower. An unmarried girl seduced by a man of the caste is united to him by the ceremony used for a widow, and a fine is imposed on her parents; if she goes wrong with an outsider she is expelled from the community. In the marriage ceremony the customary ritual of the northern Districts is followed, and the binding portion of it consists in the bride and bridegroom walking seven times around the bhánwar or sacred pole. While she does this it is essential that the bride should wear a string of black beads round her neck and brass anklets on her feet. After the ceremony the bride's mother and other women dance before the company. Whether the bride be a child or young woman she always returns home after a stay of a few days at her husband's house, and at her subsequent final departure the Gauna or going-away ceremony is performed. If the bridegroom dies after the wedding and before the Gauna, his younger brother or cousin or anybody else may come and take away the bride after performing this ceremony, and she will be considered as fully married to him. She is known as a Gonhyai wife, as distinguished from a Byåhta or one married in the ordinary manner, and a Karta or widow married a second time. But the children of all three inherit equally. A widow may marry again, and take any one she pleases for her second husband. Widowmarriages must not be celebrated in the rainy months of Shrawan, Bhādon and Kunwär. No music is allowed at them, and the husband must present a fee of a rupee and a cocoanut to the mālguzār (proprietor) of the village and four annas to the kotwär or watchman. A bachelor who is to marry a widow first goes through a formal ceremony with a cotton plant. Divorce is permitted for mutual disagreement.

1 A description of the ceremony is given in the article on Kurmi.


The couple stand before the caste committee and each takes
a stick, breaks it in two halves, and throws them apart, say-
ing, “I have no further connection with my husband (or wife),
and I break my marriage with him (or her) as I break this
The dead may be either buried or burnt, as convenient,
and mourning is always observed for three days. Before the
corpse is removed a new earthen pot filled with rice is placed
on the bier. The chief mourner raises it, and addressing the
deceased informs him that after a certain period he will be
united to the sainted dead, and until that day his spirit should
abide happily in the pot and not trouble his family. The
mouth of the pot is then covered, and after the funeral the
mourners take it home with them. When the day appointed
for the final ceremony has come, a miniature platform is made
from sticks tied together, and garlands and offerings of cakes
are hung on to it. A small heap of rice is made on the plat-
form, and just above it a clove is suspended from a thread.
Songs are sung, and the principal relative opens the pot in
which the spirit of the deceased has been enclosed. The spirit
is called upon to join the sacred company of the dead, and the
party continue to sing and to adjure it with all their force.
The thread from which the clove is suspended begins to swing
backwards and forwards over the rice; and a pig and two or
three chickens are crushed to death as offerings to the soul
of the deceased. Finally the clove touches the rice, and it
is believed that the spirit of the dead man has departed to
join the sainted dead. The Katias consider that after this

4. Funeral rites.

he requires nothing more from the living, and so they do not

make the annual offerings to the souls of the departed.
The caste sometimes employ a Brähman for the marriage
ceremony; but generally his services are limited to fixing an
auspicious date, and the functions of a priest are undertaken
by members of the family. They invite a Brähman to give
a name to a boy, and call him by this name. They think
that if they changed the name they would not be able to get
a wife for the child. They will eat any kind of flesh, includ-
ing pork and fowls, but they are not considered to be impure.
They are generally illiterate, and dirty in appearance. Un-
married girls wear glass bangles on both hands, but married

5. Social rules.

women wear metal bracelets on the right hand and glass on the left. Girls are twice tattooed : first in childhood, and a second time after marriage. The proper avocations of the Katias were the spinning of cotton thread and the weaving of the finer kinds of cloth ; but most of them have had to abandon their ancestral calling from want of custom, and they are now either village watchmen or cultivators and labourers. A few of them own villages. The Katias think themselves rather knowing; but this opinion is not shared by their neighbours, who say ironically of them, “A Katia is eight times as wise as an ordinary man, and a Kāyasth thirteen times. Any one who pretends to be wiser than these must be an idiot.”



1. Tribal legend. 7. Disposal of the dead.

2. %'ribal : 8. Laying spirits.

3. Exogamous groups. -

4. # : marriage. 9. *g0/1.

5. Other customs connected with ** Magic and witchcraft. marriage. II. Dress.

6. Childbirth. 12. Occupation and social rules.

Kawar, Kanwar, Kaur (honorific title, Sirdār). — A 1. Tribal

primitive tribe living in the hills of the Chhattisgarh Dis-" tricts north of the Mahānadi. The hill-country comprised in the northern zamindări estates of Bilāspur and the adjoining Feudatory States of Jashpur, Udaipur, Sargüja, Chäng Bhakār and Korea is the home of the Kawars, and is sometimes known after them as the Kamrān. Eight of the Bilāspur zamindårs are of the Kawar tribe. The total numbers of the tribe are nearly 200,ooo, practically all of whom belong to the Central Provinces. In Bilāspur the name is always pronounced with a nasal as Kanwar. The Kawars trace their origin from the Kauravas of the Mahābhārata, who were defeated by the Pāndavas at the great battle of Hastinäpur. They say that only two pregnant women survived and fled to the hills of Central India, where they took refuge in the houses of a Rāwat (grazier) and a Dhobi (washerman) respectively, and the boy and girl children who were born to them became the ancestors of the Kawar tribe. Consequently, the Kawars will take food from the hands of Rāwats, especially those of the Kauria subcaste, who are in all probability descended from Kawars. And when a Kawar

* This article is based almost entirely on a monograph contributed by Mr. Hira Läl.

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