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People of Rajasthan, the Rajputs

population of rajasthan

The Rajput people

Proud to belong to the clan of warriors

The Rajputs shaped their country and even gave it their name, Rajasthan. They claim to be descended from the first Aryan invaders of the warrior caste, the Kshatriya, but some, especially the great ruling families, claim descent from divine avatars.

Organised into a feudal society, warrior clans ruled almost all the kingdoms of Rajasthan. The descendants of these lords are as proud as their ancestors who have left them a demanding code of honour and a rich cultural heritage that they have opened to tourism and that the traveller can discover during a trip to Rajasthan. The most modest are today in the army, the civil service or agriculture.

Among these clans, the Marwaris, Rajasthani merchants, prospered in Skekhawati thanks to the caravan trade before migrating to Mumbai or Kolkata. Their descendants created the big Indian companies of today (Birla, Poddar, Bajaj).
The Brahmins, at the top of the caste hierarchy, are nowadays farmers or government employees.
Next come the farmers and shepherds, including the Jats (prosperous farmers), the Rebaris (breeders of large herds of camels and sheep, whose men can be recognised by their large red turbans) and the Bishnois (farmers grouped in villages around Jodhpur and great preservers of the environment).
Finally, the tribes constitute the oldest population of the region.

They are located in the east of the state (Minas), in the Udaipur region (Bhils and Garasias), towards Chittorgarh (Gaduliya Lohar, nomadic blacksmiths). The snake charmers (Kalbeliyas) are part of the nomadic communities.

population rajpoute
peuple du rajasthan
Population état Rajasthan
a voir au rajasthan
Bergers nomades du rajasthan

Lovers of colours and ornaments, Rajasthanis express their identity in their traditional costumes and jewellery.
For men, the clothes, the jewels, the type of turban and the shoes establish the identity and the social status of each one. While the men of the cities have adopted the western dress (the trousers and the shirt), the villagers remain traditional and still wear the white dhoti as trousers and the angarakha as a light shirt.
To this, they add the Pagari, the famous Rajasthani turban, the attribute of male pride.

Differing in shapes according to trades, castes and places, they observe very complex colour codes and vary depending on the region. Expertly twisted by hand, they distinguish their owner and are a real symbol.

The jewels are also part of the daily adornment: rings, bracelets, earrings and even necklaces are very often worn.

Rajasthani women take great pleasure in looking after their outfit. While only urban women wear the Indian sari, villagers wear the traditional very colourful large skirt called ghaghara, worn with a short sleeved bolero covered with a kurti. The odhani, meanwhile, is the veil with which they cover their heads. Depending on the region, the caste, the tribe, multiple variants exist in the fabrics, the colours, the shapes, the lengths of skirts, etc ....

Finally, in Rajasthan, leather shoes have been worn for centuries. Handcrafted from camel, goat or sheep skin, they are worn by both men and women. They can be covered with textiles or velvet, embroidered or decorated with mirrors, brass nails or even ceramic beads.

Rajasthanis love adornments. We all have seen the sumptuous jewels of gold, silver and precious stones which the Maharajas wore. Today, the Rajputs wear golden jewels when the different tribes prefer silver, but no one can omit to wear them because they assert one's membership to a community and one's social status.

Like clothing, each adornment is characteristic of a region. In the countryside, the women of some tribes are covered with jewels that they wear gracefully and naturally throughout the year, even to go to the fields. Incredible silver ornaments are worn on the forehead, hair, ears, neck, hands, wrists, ankles and feet.

In the Jaisalmer region, today's plastic wristbands, covering the arm from wrist to shoulder, were once made of ivory. In the Jodhpur region, heavier silver ornaments are preferred, often with inexpensive pieces of glass whose decorations are inspired by the sun, moon, flowers, seeds and other leaves. 

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