Old Indian Photos

Feb 24, 2013

Rujwar, Low Caste Hindoo, Behar - 1860's



RUJWARS

Rujwars, or Rajwars, are a race, supposed (like the Boonyas, with whom they have much in common) to be aboriginal. They occupy the southeastern hills of Behar. During the Mahomedan rule in the province of Behar, they were much employed in guarding the passes of the hills, and possessed holdings of land rent free in payment for their services in this respect. Since the resumption of these holdings they have taken to a vagabond life ; and, their means of subsistence being precarious, they are addicted to robbery and thieving. Great numbers of them are little better than slaves of the various Zemindars of the districts adjoining their native hills. Rice is their chief diet. They have few prejudices of caste, and eat swine, and even the dead bodies of animals. Those, however, who become disciples (Bhuggut) of the Gooroos, abstain from animal food.

They are great drunkards, and indulge in a liquor called Omedha daroo, which is prepared by allowing rice and other grain to stand in water until it decomposes and ferments in the sun.

The Rujwars are divided into numerous clans, the head men of which are called Bhogtas.

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