Darzi


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Who are they?

The Darzi or Darji, are a community of tailors, numbering around 3,240,000 people. Darzi is derived from the Persian word darzan, meaning to sew or from darz, meaning seam. The Darzi are largely a landless community whose main occupation is tailoring.

Origin

The Darzi have various synonyms as well as legends about their community origins – the legends vary according to the states in which they reside. In Uttar Pradesh the Muslim Darji are also called Khayyat and have recently begun affixing the title Idrisi, thereby tracing their origin to Hazrat Idris. They believe that he was the real teacher from whom their forefathers learned the art of tailoring. In the desert state of Rajasthan the Darzi claim their origin from the Rajput (second highest caste of warriors), tracing their descent from their legendary heroes Peepaji and Namdeo.

There are both Hindu and Muslim Darzi; the latter largely concentrated in Uttar Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh the Darzi’s synonyms are Shimpi, Chippi, Suji (from the Hindi sui – needle) and Mavi. According to a legend narrated by ethnologists Russel and Hiralal (The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, 1916) when Parshurama (Rama with an axe, 6th incarnation of Vishnu) was destroying the Kshatriya (also known as the Rajput people), two brothers hid themselves in a temple and were protected by the priest. The priest ordered one brother, Chippi, to sew dresses for the idol and the other to dye and stamp them. Chippi is thought to be the progenitor of the Darzi, the name being corrupted to Shimpi.

In the southern state of Karnataka the Darzi are also referred to as Bhavsar Kshatriya, Chippi, Namdev Simpi and Shimpi, and have surnames like Pisse, Wade, Kakade and Sanyasi. In Orissa the Darzi are known as Maharana, Mahapatra and Darzi, the former two of which are also used as surnames.

Location

Numbering a total of 3,240,000, the Darzi are distributed across the states of Uttar Pradesh (1 million), Rajasthan (70,000), Madhya Pradesh (280,000), Maharashtra (560,000), Bihar (96,000), Orissa (18,000) and Karnataka (210,000).

Other Names

The Darzi have a varying number of endogamous divisions and exogamous clans in the different parts of the country they inhabit. In Rajasthan there are two main divisions, namely, Peepavanshi and Namdeovanshi. The latter is further divided into two endogamous subdivisions called Tak and Gole. Seven clans – Mathiya, Ruselwal, Gosaliya, Utwan, Jadav, Mangla and Ragi – have been identified among the Tak, and four clans, namely, Bhati, Gahlot, Solanki and Paripeer among the Gole. The Peepavanshi have nine clans – the Panwar, Solanki, Parmar, Daiya, Chauhan, Goyel, Rakercha, Parihar and Tak.

Language

The Darzi mother tongue differs from region to region. In Uttar Pradesh they speak Urdu and use the Perso-Arabic script. In Rajasthan, Marwari is spoken and in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Hindi is the primary language. Both states use Devanagari script for writing. In Maharashtra and Karnataka, Marathi occupies that distinction, though in the latter state the local language Kannada with its own script is also used. In Orissa, the Oriya language and its script are used.

What Are Their Lives Like?

A Darzi works for himself or for other tailors. Clients usually come from within the locality or neighborhood. Some Darzi also sell ready-made clothes from their shops or at weekend markets. Jodhpur coats and riding pants were made by skilled Darzi tailors from Rajasthan. The Darzi are skilled at dyeing fabrics and Darzi women are expert at embroidery.

The Darzi’s profession is poorly regarded and held in some contempt: a village proverb runs, “Darzi ka put jab tak jita tab tak sita,” meaning, “the tailor’s boy will sew as long as he lives.” Nowadays, the educated among them choose to work in government or private service. Many in Madhya Pradesh work as schoolteachers. Agriculture and daily-wage labour are some of their subsidiary occupations. The community also has a number of designers, professionals and entrepreneurs.

Except in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Darzi are mostly non-vegetarian though they do not eat beef. Even Muslim Darzis abstain from eating beef, as they believe it to be injurious to health. Wheat, rice, millets, pulses, seasonal vegetables, fruits and dairy products form part of their daily diet. Alcoholic drinks are consumed occasionally, and tobacco is taken in varied forms like cigarettes and zarda (scented chewing tobacco.)

Although this community regards education as important, girls are not sent to school. They use both modern medicine and family planning initiatives. Official developmental programmes related to electricity, clean drinking water, communication and subsidised banking facilities have influenced and elicited a positive response from the Darzi. They also make good use of the Public Distribution System. In short, the Darzi community is making considerable progress.

Customs

The Darzi are monogamous and practice adult marriage, though there are some instances of child marriage. Marital alliances are negotiated by family elders. Earlier, bride-price in cash was given by the groom’s family to the bride’s father. However, a dowry – which is given in cash and kind by the bride’s parents, is prevalent today.

Lately, mass marriages have become popular in the state of Madhya Pradesh, through the initiation of an organisation called Namdev Samaj Vikas Parishad (Community Development Authority). In such marriages, a dowry is not given. Divorce is allowed and so is remarriage of widowers, widows, and divorcees. A widowed woman is prohibited from remarrying during the period of iddat, i.e. a specified restriction of three month and ten days observed by a Muslim widow or divorcee.

Among the Muslim Darzi of Uttar Pradesh marriages with cousins is prevalent and preferred. It is acceptable to marry a paternal or maternal aunt’s or uncle’s children.

Families live either both jointly or apart. Sons inherit the paternal property equally. However, among the Muslim Darzi, daughters do have the right to inherit a smaller share of parental property. The eldest son succeeds his father as head of the family. Women are poorly regarded though they carry out specific social and religious duties. At marriage ceremonies and on the birth of children they sing traditional songs celebrating these events.

Although they have some community councils to exercise social control – especially in rural areas – they are not common throughout all the regions in which the Darzi reside. Regional community associations like the Bhavasar Kshatriya Association in Karnataka and the Namdev Vikas Parishad in Madhya Pradesh work for the overall improvement of the community.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Darzi are mostly Hindu by faith, except those residing in Uttar Pradesh, who are Muslim. The Hindu Darzi are Vishnu followers. The Darzi also worship Shiva, Shakti (power), Kali, Durga (inaccessible, the military goddess with ten arms who rides a tiger), Chandi (fierce), Bhawani (mother of the earth). Ganesh, who is the remover of obstacles and the god of auspicious beginnings, is also worshipped.

Many of them belong to the Namdev sect, originated by a 12th-13th century AD tailor called Namdev Sadhu who was a great poet and fervent devotee of Vithoba of Pandharpur in Maharashtra. His surviving sacred hymns are very popular and revered. Jagannatha (a form of Krishna, eighth incarnation of Vishnu) is also widely revered by the Darzi.

The Hindu Darzi, before beginning their day’s work in the morning commonly bow to their tools of the trade- scissors, sewing machine and needle- and pray to them for a bountiful livelihood.

The Hindu Darzi make pilgrimages to the temple of Brahma in Pushkar, near Ajmer in Rajasthan, Badrinath (mountain shrine sacred to Vishnu in the Himalayas), Puri (coastal city sacred to Jagannatha), and Haridwar.

The Hindu Darzi celebrates all major Hindu festivals like Holi, Diwali (Festival of Lights) and Janamashtami (Krishna’s birthday.) The Muslim Darzi observes Islamic festivals like Id-ul-Fitr (Feast of Alms), Bakr-Id (Feast commemorating Abraham’s sacrifice of a ram) and Bara Wafat (Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday.)

The Hindu Darzis cremate their dead and immerse the ashes in a river, preferably the holy Ganges, while the Muslim ones bury their deceased. Both, birth and death pollution for specified time periods are observed. Brahmin priests conduct their life-cycle rituals connected with birth, marriage and death.

What Are Their Needs?

The 3.25 million Darzi are creative, hardworking people who use their skills to earn a living and utilize the assistance provided by government programs. They have access to education which should include girls.

 

42 Comments

  1. Can some one give me more information on their origin with or as Rajputs in Rajasthan

    Reply
  2. ThanQ

    Reply
  3. Can anybody tell me please that who is the head of darzi (tailor) OBC cast in delhi ?
    I need the name and address of him to get an OBC darzi cast certificate for my friend.

    Reply
    • hi mohd.mujahid,
      contact Rais idrisi delhi.9811153444 / 09873222786
      im from mumbaii my name Akhtar Hussain Idrisi From mumbai. u can call 9619579520.

      Reply
  4. You can stay in hotels like, Udaipur, Jaisalmar, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner,
    and Ajmer and still several hotels are there for you make comfort and to have a pleasant
    travel. The atmosphere is redolent of historic
    valor, chivalry, battles won and lost. Rajasthan Secondary
    (Class 10th) Result 2012SMS – RESULTRAJ10ROLL NUMBER to 56263.

    Reply
  5. Nice info!. In region of Telangana the Darji community is called as Meru Darji/Chippolu. They speak Telugu and follow similar customs mentioned above.

    Reply
  6. Very Good can you provide me they origin in Gujarat along with there surname

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  7. we are the second highest caste of warrior and the origin of rajput

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    • Thank you for this explanation thank’s

      Reply
  8. Thanks for the info about the darzi cast. But in u.p some of the people r says that they r kshatrya & some of says they r kaithiya darzi and rights the title like Saxena basically in centre u.p (shahjashanpur area..).

    Reply
  9. The caste system is bulls$*t!! I dont want to part of any caste. I just want to be human

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  10. Thank you to confirm some of my thinking

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  11. You should link to webs of Bhavasar Wiki or Kshatriya Bhavasar Wikipedia , Darzi Muslim in Pakistan and Darzi Hindu in Pakistan etc this would give you extenxiv data about Darzi website.
    This is only my suggestion and if you do not like you should forgive me.

    Reply
  12. Deepak Dattatray Niley (Seva Singh)
    I am a Convert sikh from Maharashtrian Kshatriya Bhavasar caste. This caste claims that Maharashtrian “Sant Namadev” belonged to this caste and shimpi/chimbaa is his sab caste. Sant Namdeo is well known in Panjab and about 700 of his compositions are included in the Guru-Granth Sahib.
    I am proud to be a sikh.
    I suggest that one must visite the following sites
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhavsar, http://bhavsarkshatriya.org/origin.html, http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/17513/PK (Introduction / History), http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/16673/PK (general information)
    and compare the information with the origin section of this site (http://www.peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/darzi/#close)
    This would enhance your knowledge about how Greater group is got divided into many subgroups and find ways to unite togethr for some common cause to enhance our status and values and to get our rights in common. We can know about each other and etc, etc
    Thanks
    Your’s Lovingly

    Reply
  13. The Idea is that the ART of making clothes is dying as , people are more getting towards the more educated sects of Engineering and MBA, this is Fate of the country that all the OLD ART forms are dying , due this so called education Flood, there needs to be steps taken by Engineers and MBA to revive these small ART forms and Utilise them in Main stream business of cloths.
    if this doesn’t happen then DARZIS will extinct and there will be only Engineers and MBA

    Reply
    • very well said.. i share the same opinion….

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  14. To add some details there are appox. 5lakh + , darzi/darji community people recording in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

    Reply
  15. Wow… Awesome information. I always confused with the Caste of Darji. I always thought Darji is relate to only Muslim. Now I know that it is also relate to Hindu.. Thax nice article..

    Reply
  16. Very valuable info z given. Thanks. but in telangana and andhra Pradesh also we have darzi people. And they r also called meru/ chippolu.

    Reply
  17. Damodar vanshiy darji samaj is believed to come from Junagarh ,Gujrat and scattered mainly in districts of rajasthan and madhya pradesh – Mandsaur,Jhalawar,chitourgarh,ratlam,ujjain,kota,Jhabua, DR.dayaram Aalok a social activist initiated mass marriage function in 1981 at Rampura (district Neemuch). It was the first mass marriage function of any caste in madya pradedsh .

    Reply
  18. abobe info. is awesome but my problem related to surnname is still available. in east U.P our peoples are used the surname is Saxena and in punjab we know as Namdev but we have not a one surname. its very bad 4 us. Anyone is here available who will help to me in search out the suaitable SURNAME. plz contact through email i.e [email protected] and gmail.com

    Reply
    • Hope your understand It would be very difficult conclude one surname, so it is better to use surname even they are different but can help identify our community and have united relationship with each other.

      Reply
  19. Very informative -thanks. I just spoke to a gentleman from Ajmer of the Darzi caste. His family name Tak is actually ‘taank’ meaning ‘ a stitch’.

    Reply
  20. The above information is outstanding and incredible. I can’t believe such long background in Darzi or Meru community.

    Reply
  21. In total details you have not clarify about Gujarat dargi and dabhi Desai darji particularly belongings to saurast and Bhavnagar if possible the provide details for onwards forwarded to others

    Regards

    V R Desai

    Reply
  22. Darzi word is Urdu so Hindu darzi people used word suchikar like exampal ramdeensaxena suchikar for the caste ididentyfication all darzi Hindu samaj thank 09868917330

    Reply
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    Reply
    • hamari cast revnue record main darzi hai hum kis catagory main ate hain pl mujhe bataya jaye

      Reply
  24. Plz. See All Namdev(Darji)Sirname.

    Reply
  25. I want request u all of u india darzis.sabhi log ek dusre s aacha communication aur ek community bana kr aage badne ki kosis kre.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  26. The origins of the community/caste called ” Meru ” allover India which ‘took up the profession of stitching’ first in our country, have not been thoroughly discussed. More over only Karnataka is mentioned leaving other states of south India. One should know that all Darzees / tailors are not ‘ Merus’ but all ‘ Merus’ are darzees by profession. I, a tailor caste person made an attempt to look into the origins of “Meru” community in our country. You may look into that also .

    Reply
  27. I am looking for few darzis contact no. in delhi. Can someone please provide me the same?

    Reply
  28. In Maharashtra shimpi caste is divided into twelve and half,again it is also divided into subcategories.

    Reply
  29. Mau idrisi darji samaj ki varshik baithak hui jisme sah sahmat se firoj Ahmad crown ko Adhyach chuna gya Adhyach pad par badrujjama aur haji manjur idrisi ko China gya chunav kaa ki dekh rekh Abdussalam pardesh upadhyach aur haji mumtaj nice ki dekh rekh me sampann hua

    Reply
    • Ali Ahmed bhai mere dada basti see the or unka naam Abdul samad tha lekin kabhi idrisi naam k aage humare abba or mere nahi laga. Ab humare naam mein shaikh lagta haI lekin jab maine pata kiya tho maloom huwa k hum idrisi jai or ab mujhe OBC ka certificate banana hai please help kijiye kaise banega mein mumbai malad mein rehta hoon

      Reply
  30. hey guys pls help me can you some one pls tell me what is the meaning of tailor cast pls send me my no. 7838571584 thats my whatsapp Contect No.

    Reply
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    Reply
  32. PLEASE LET ME KNOW THE LIST OF DARJI RAJPUTS IN DELHI AS WELL AS FARIDABAD (HARYANA) , IF ANYONE HAVE IT.

    Reply

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