Major Tribal Comunities of Rajasthan
Tribes of Rajasthan constitute 12% of the total population. The main tribal communities of Rajasthan are Bhil tribe and Meena tribe. The major concentration of these tribes of Rajasthan is found mainly in the foothill of Vindhya, Aravalli mountain ranges. Each and every tribes of Rajasthan have contributed with their unique customs and rituals, thereby making the whole of the culture of Tribes of Rajasthan are quite enriched. Their styles of making houses, festivals, costumes all bear witness to the cultural exquisiteness of the tribes of Rajasthan.
Major Tribal Comunities of Rajasthan are:-
- Meena Tribe: - Tribe Meena, also spelled as Mina, is a community principally found in the state of Rajasthan. The name of this community has been derived from the word Meen, which means fish in Sanskrit language. The Minas mainly reside in northern part of Rajasthan including some areas like Sawai Madhopur District, Dausa District, Jaipur, Dholpur and Karauli districts in Jaipur and Bharatpur region. The ancient Indian scripture Rig Veda depicts that the kingdom of the Meenas was called Matsya Kingdom in Sanskrit. The people of Meena tribe of Rajasthan had been worshipping Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman and Lord Krishna as well as the Devis (Mother goddesses) till date. Meena tribal community shares space with other tribes including the community of Bhil tribe.The Mina community was ramified primarily in four basic sectors the Zamindar Mina, the Chaukidar Meenas, Parihar Meenas and the Bhil Meena.
- Garasia Tribe:- are basically concentrated in different parts of this state namely Kotra, Abu Road tehsil of Sirohi, Bali and Desuri tehsils of Pali districts, Gogunda and Kherwara tehsils of Udaipur.The word 'Garasias' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'gras' that signifies the substance.the houses of these Garasia tribes are small, a Garasia male of the household can perform all the household chores on his own. These Garasia tribes in general reside in one-room houses prepared from mud and bamboo. The society of the Garasia tribe is controlled by the Panchayet and the village head Patel takes the major decisions related to the village and the villagers. The position of a woman is not high in a Garasia tribal community. Like any other patriarchal society, the Garasia tribal females also are not permitted to possess property.
- Bishnoi Tribe: - Bishnoi tribe inhabits the area around Barmer and traces their ancestry to a saint and ascetic named Jambhaji, regarded by them as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, whom they worship. The Bishnois are strict vegetarians and also ardent protectors of trees and wildlife. Ten doctrines among the twenty nine are directed towards personal hygiene and maintaining good basic health, seven for healthy social behaviour, and five tenets to worship God. Eight tenets have been prescribed to preserve bio-diversity and encourage good animal husbandry. The Bishnoi tribe worship the animals as god and maintain a healthy ecological balance of nature. Its important to mention the initiative by bishnoi community in preservation kejri tree.
- Gadia Lohar Tribe: - Gadia Lohar is a nomadic community of Rajasthan and this community literally means 'blacksmith in a vehicle'. Tattoos are popular among the Gadia Lohars and believed to ward off misfortune.
- Meghval: - This community has hailed from Marwar in Rajasthan.The primary occupation of Meghval community was weaving fabric specially Khadi.
- Rabari Tribe: - Rabari are the worshippers of Mata Devi and they worship her in all her natural elements, the most popular being the peacock feather and the conch shell.
- Sahariya Tribe: - Sahariya Tribe is the only primitive tribe of the Rajasthan state, residing in the Shahabad and Kishanganj Panchayat Samitis of Baran District.
- Kalbeliya:- The Kalbelias were known for their frequent movement from one place to another in ancient times. Their main occupation is catching snakes and trading snake venom. Hence, the dance movements and the costumes of their community bear a resemblance to that of the serpents. They are also known as Sapera, Jogira or Jogi. They follow Hinduism. They trace their ancestry from Kanlipar, the 12th disciple of Guru Gorakhnath.
Fairs, Festivals, Folk Dance, Folk Music of Rajasthan
- Banganga Fair:-It is said that the stream of Banganga was formed when Arjun, one of the Pandavas, shot an arrow to quench the thirst of dying Bhishma Pitamah, who was a brave warrior and had been badly wounded in the battle of Mahabharata.
- Chandrabagha Fair:-Thousands of devotees gather here at the time of fair to take a holy dip in the sacred waters of river Chandrabhaga.
- Gogaji Fair:-Gogaji is regarded as a saint by the Kayam Khani Muslims who are beieved to be his descendants. He is an eminent warrior-hero of the region. Hindus called him by the name of Goga Veer while Muslims call him Jahar Peer.
- Jambheswar Fair:-Jambheswar ji is considered an in carnation of Lord Vishnu himself, by the Bishnois. He always stood for self-control, truth and non-violence. Two temples of Jambheswar ji are situated near the town of Nokha – one in village Mukam and the other on the sand dune of Samarthal.
- Kaila Devi Fair:-One of the most venerated fairs of Rajasthan, Kaila devi fair is hels at the temple of Kaila Devi, who is worshipped as the guardian deity by the Yadavas, the Khinchis, and the princess of Karauli.
- Kapil Muni Fair:-The largest fair of Bikaner, Kapil Muni Fair is named after the Kapil who was a great sage, believed to have done ‘tapasya’ here for the redemption of mankind. Kapil Muni has been mentioned in Puranas and has been said to descend from Lord Brahma (the creator of the world) himself.
- Karni Mata Fair:-Karni Mata led an ascetic life and dedicated herself to the service of the poor and downtrodden and is believed to possess supernatural powers. She laid the foundation of Deshnok and her main followers are ‘Charans’.
- Khatu Shyamji Fair:-Thousands of devotees visit the temple during this annual fair, many of them for performing the ‘Jadula’ ceremony of their children, where the child ‘s head is shaven clean for the first time.
- Khetlaji Fair:-There are shops and festivity that is characteristic of all Rajasthani fairs. The bubbling people who throng to the fair in their colorful attire certainly add the charms to this gala occasion.
- Mallinath Fair:-One of the biggest cattle fairs of Rajasthan, Mallinath Fair is just the right place to visit to look out for highly popular breeds of cattle such as cows, camels, sheep, goats and horses.
- Nagaur Fair:-The famous Nagaur fair is known for the cattle tradesmen with colorful turbans and long mustaches that come there with their fine breed of camels, horses, cows, and bullocks.
- Pushkar Fair:-One of the most sought-after fair in Rajasthan, a lot of tourists come to Pushkar Fair on pilgrimage as well as to see the display of a mystifying array of items.
- Ramdevra Fair:-Baba Ramdev was a Tanwar Rajput who took ‘Samadhi’ (left his mortal body for the heavenly abode) in 1458 AD. He was believed to have miraculous powers and is considered an incarnation of Lord Krishna.
- Sheetla Mata Fair:-It is said that if the wrath of Sheetla Mata is let loose, then epidemics spread. This fair is held to make offerings and worship the deity to please her and keep her pacified. In the shrine, a red stone represents the deity.
- Shri Mahavirji Fair:-A sacred place to Digambar Jains, followers of Mahavir ji, they come from far off places to pay their homage to the venerated saint at the Mahavirji temple, situated in an enclosure known as ‘Katala’.
- Sitabari Fair:-As the legend goes, Sita, the wife of Lord Ram, was left by Lakshman here to serve the period of her banishment. He also shot an arrow from where a stream of clear water sprouted for Sita.
- Urs Fair:-The remains of Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti lie buried in ‘Dargah Sharif’ in Ajmer and are held in held in great reverence by devotees of all communities. Khwaja had come from Persia and established Chishtia order of ‘fakirs’ in India.
- Bhai Dooj
- Hadoti Festival, Kota
- Braj Festival, Bharatpur
- Desert Festival, Jaisalmer
- Summer Festival, Mt. Abu
- Marwar Festival, Jodhpur
- Camel Festival, Bikaner
- Gangaur Festival, Jaipur
- Teej Festival, Jaipur
- Mewar Festival, Udaipur
Rajasthan has a diverse collection of musician castes, including langas, sapera, bhopa, jogi and Manganiar. There are two traditional classes of musicians: the Langas, who stuck mostly exclusively to Muslim audiences and styles, and the Manganiars, who had a more liberal approach.
Manganiar are professional hereditary caste musicians. They mostly live in Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Rajasthan.They play an interesting string instrument played with a bow. It is know as Kamaicha.
Manganiars (Though Muslims) sing invariable among Hindu patron families. They serve during childbirth, weddings and other ceremonies. Manganiars are very good are rhythmic instruments like Dholak and Khadtal. Their musical compositions are very complex and have improvisatory rules build into it. Virtuoso rhythm playing has largely added to their success in music.
Langas are professional caste musicians. They live in western Rajasthan and provide musical service to Sindhi Sipahi community. They sing songs related to life-passage ceremonies i.e. birth, marriage and related ceremonies or festivals.
Historically for at least four hundred years the group has been providing music on Gujratan and Sindhi Sarangi. This evolved chordophone, the Sindhi Sarangi has helped them to enhance the quality of compositions.
The Langas continue to serve their patrons but for the last two decades, they have become a big force in representing folk music of Rajasthan on all types of electronic and other popular medias. They are widely travelled artists in the whole world. They have a strong voice and have an improvisatory technique to improve the quality of songs.
- Ghoomar Dance
- Kachi Ghori Dance
- Gair Dance
- Panihari Dance
- Sekhawati’s Geendada Dance
- Chang Dance
- Dandiya Dance
- Dhol Dance
- Bum Dance
- Tera Taali Dance
- Chari Dance