Kumhar

Who are they?

The Kumhar are potters who make earthen vessels, water pots, decorative home wares, toys and idols of gods and goddesses. The name Kumhar denotes a maker of pots and pitchers or someone who creates. They are an integral part of Indian society because their creations are an integral part of an Indian’s daily life rituals.

They make idols, statues of famous people and folk deities and animals. They can be found at local markets selling their wares on most days. They have started using terracotta instead of red clay as it can be painted and is less fragile. There is a growing demand for their products in the urban market. This trend is beneficial to the Kumhars as long as they are not exploited by middlemen.

Location

One of the largest castes, they are reportedly spread across 212 districts of India, predominantly in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. They are known by different names in each state.

Origin

Each state has its own legend of the Kumhar’s origins. The Maharashtra Kumhar claim that they emerged on earth with the blessing of the Hindu trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma the creator gave them his art, Vishnu the preserver his wheel and Shiva the destroyer, his form. Their first product was a water pot.

In Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh, they are listed as a scheduled caste (previously called untouchables.) They themselves do not consider themselves as such.

This community has a number of subgroups that vary depending on where they come from. In Uttar Pradesh, there are the Baradia or Baradiya sub-group who carry clay on oxen; the Gadhere subgroup who carry clay on donkeys and the Chakbai (wheel) subgroup.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kumhar are a landless community who continue in their traditional occupation as potters, with some engaged in animal husbandry and crop farming on a share-cropping basis. Some work as masons and manual labour for a daily wage. Many Kumhar have abandoned their traditional occupation and are employed in government service – as teachers, engineers, doctors, police and armed forces; while others work for private enterprises. Political leadership at various levels is also emerging among them.
When we compare the accounts of 19th and early 20th century ethnographers, we can see that the Kumhar’s traditional occupation has diversified considerably. In addition, there has been a devolving of subgroups and an increasing identity-consciousness across states.

Wheat and rice are staple cereals supplemented by barley, maize and lentils and pulses. Fruit intake is occasional and seasonal. Non vegetarians do not eat beef or pork. Those who follow the Radhasoami sect are strict vegetarians. Alcohol is consumed occasionally.

What Are Their Customs?

Endogamy is practiced at community and subgroup level. Exogamy is practiced among clans as a rule for marriage. However, marriages between subgroups are becoming common. Marriages are arranged by negotiation between the elders of both parties.

Child marriage is becoming less prevalent among the Kumhar. In child marriages, consummation takes place only after the girl has attained puberty at the age of twelve to fifteen. In many cases, especially in rural areas, the bride and groom do not see each other before marriage. Bride price used to be the norm but it has been replaced by a dowry which is in both cash and goods.

The Kumhar are monogamous though polygamy is permitted if the first wife is barren, but such cases are very rare. Junior levirate and junior sororate are recognised and preferred. Remarriage is permitted for widowed persons; remarriage is performed simply by exchanging garlands without the ritual encircling the sacred fire. Though divorce is permissible, it is uncommon as it is looked down upon by their society. Only male heirs have an equal share of the inheritance and the eldest son succeeds as the head of the family.

The literacy rate is very low and child labour is common. Response to developmental aid is mixed – they are encouraged to educate their children, but boys are favored over girls and the dropout rate is high due to social and economic reasons. They use both modern and indigenous medicine and are open to family planning.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Kumhar are predominantly Hindu. They worship the gods and goddesses of the wider Hindu pantheon and participate in all Hindu religious festivals. Although quite low in the Hindu caste hierarchy, they have access to all the sacred shrines of pilgrimage for Hindus. Families may choose to give importance to a deity. All Hindu workmen, including the Kumhar, regard the tools of their trade as the cause of their prosperity and worship them as such.

Collectively, the Kumhar worship an overwhelming number of local and regional deities for an equally amazing variety of reasons. For example, in Himachal Pradesh a provincial deity called Guga is propitiated for eight days all over the state. Nahar Singh – the whistling deity who lives in the pipal (Indian fig tree) is considered to be a great benevolent god and benefactor of all. In Haryana a regional deity is worshipped for the fulfillment of wishes. In Uttar Pradesh the Kumhar revere Mahadeva, another form of Shiva and worship the potter’s wheel on Diwali (Festival of Lights). In Himachal Pradesh, the god of their choice is Vishwakarma (the great architect of the universe.) They observe a three day fast when they do not make any pots. In Maharashtra the Kumhar worship Sant Gora Kumbhar (White Saint Kumhar), the god Vitthala (an aspect of Vishnu) and goddess Yellamma. In the desert state of Rajasthan the main deity of the Kumhar is Surya Deva (Sun god) as well as Bhairava (a particularly fearsome incarnation of Shiva).

Some Punjabi Kumhar are Sikh while a few, as in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, are Muslims. There are Catholic Kumhars in the state of Goa which is chiefly Christian.

What Are Their Needs?

Practical needs are literacy, economic self-sufficiency and health care.

Leave a Reply

59 Comments on "Kumhar"


Guest
baap
8 days 10 hours ago
r work(Iron work)=Gold work=a labour work taken from donkey according to shashtra are equal. To work with Kum means Bhumi is considered superior to liron/gold work according to Manusmiriti . In Himachal Pradesh in several Hindu Swarna Devta Temples/Shakti Peeths, . Kumhars are the priest/Pujaries and are considered at par with Brahmins.The Angiras gotra higher caste brahmin used to visit Satrol village of Sati where members of Kumhars community are the purjaris In several places Kumhars are the Lambardars/Zamindars
Guest
baap
8 days 10 hours ago
who used to fast on basra days of Adi shakti maa durga ambe sheetla Maa, they used to make different dishes(veg.) and offer that to Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi shakti) and holy potter family. Kumhar is an ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jati Verga.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi Shakti), therefore, you few negative bloody people who used to create many illusions, misconceptions may stop to worship Adi Shakti Maa a
Guest
baap
8 days 10 hours ago
who used to fast on basra days of Adi shakti maa durga ambe sheetla Maa, they used to make different dishes(veg.) and offer that to Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi shakti) and holy potter family. Kumhar is an ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jati Verga.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi Shakti), therefore, you few negative bloody people who used to create many illusions, misconceptions may stop to worship Adi Shakti Maa a
Guest
baap
8 days 10 hours ago
who used to fast on basra days of Adi shakti maa durga ambe sheetla Maa, they used to make different dishes(veg.) and offer that to Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi shakti) and holy potter family. Kumhar is an ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jati Verga.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi Shakti), therefore, you few negative bloody people who used to create many illusions, misconceptions may stop to worship Adi Shakti Maa a
Guest
baap
8 days 10 hours ago
who used to fast on basra days of Adi shakti maa durga ambe sheetla Maa, they used to make different dishes(veg.) and offer that to Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi shakti) and holy potter family. Kumhar is an ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jati Verga.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi Shakti), therefore, you few negative bloody people who used to create many illusions, misconceptions may stop to worship Adi Shakti Maa a
Guest
baap
8 days 11 hours ago
There is a tradition in Vaish(wealthy community) who used to on fast during the Basra days of Adi Shakti Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa. They used to offer different dishes(veg.) to Adi Shakti Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa and holy potter family. Holy Kumhars are an Ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jatti Verga -only backward in numbers game.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Adi Shakti Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa. You few negative bloody peoples used to create illusions, misconceptions, therefore, as Donkey is also the Vehicle of Adi Shakti Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa, hence you should not worship Adi Shakti Maa Ambe Durga Sheetla Maa.
Guest
baap
8 days 11 hours ago
There is a tradition in Vaish(wealthy community) who used to on fast during the Basra days of Adi Shakti Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa. They used to offer different dishes(veg.) to Adi Shakti Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa and holy potter family. Holy Kumhars are an Ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jatti Verga -only backward in numbers game.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Adi Shakti Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa. You few negative bloody peoples used to create illusions, misconceptions, therefore, as Donkey is also the Vehicle of Adi Shakti Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa, hence you should not worship Adi Shakti Maa Ambe Durga Sheetla Maa.
Guest
baap
8 days 11 hours ago
There is a tradition in Vaish(wealthy community) who used to on fast during the Basra days of Adi Shakti Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa. They used to offer different dishes(veg.) to Adi Shakti Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa and holy potter family. Holy Kumhars are an Ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jatti Verga -only backward in numbers game.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Adi Shakti Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa. You few negative bloody peoples used to create illusions, misconceptions, therefore, as Donkey is also the Vehicle of Adi Shakti Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa, hence you should not worship Adi Shakti Maa Ambe Durga Sheetla Maa.
Guest
baap
8 days 12 hours ago
yeh jo admin hai,hamare gadhe ki paidaiesh hai, iske liye yeh kucch bhi bakwas krta rahta hai isse royal kumhar najar nhi aate
Guest
Santosh Verma
28 days 2 hours ago
There is a tradition in vaish(wealthy community) who used to fast on basra days of Adi shakti maa durga ambe sheetla Maa, they used to make different dishes(veg.) and offer that to Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi shakti) and holy potter family. Kumhar is an ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jati Verga.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi Shakti), therefore, you few negative bloody people who used to create many illusions, misconceptions may stop to worship Adi Shakti Maa as Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa(Adi Shakti).
Guest
Santosh Verma
28 days 2 hours ago
There is a tradition in vaish(wealthy community) who used to fast on basra days of Adi shakti maa durga ambe sheetla Maa, they used to make different dishes(veg.) and offer that to Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi shakti) and holy potter family. Kumhar is an ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jati Verga.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi Shakti), therefore, you few negative bloody people who used to create many illusions, misconceptions may stop to worship Adi Shakti Maa as Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa(Adi Shakti).
Guest
Santosh Verma
28 days 2 hours ago
There is a tradition in vaish(wealthy community) who used to fast on basra days of Adi shakti maa durga ambe sheetla Maa, they used to make different dishes(veg.) and offer that to Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi shakti) and holy potter family. Kumhar is an ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jati Verga.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa(Adi Shakti), therefore, you few negative bloody people who used to create many illusions, misconceptions may stop to worship Adi Shakti Maa as Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Maa(Adi Shakti).
Guest
Santosh Verma
2 months 22 days ago
Lohar work(Iron work)=Gold work=a labour work taken from donkey according to shashtra are equal. To work with Kum means Bhumi is considered superior to liron/gold work according to Manusmiriti . In Himachal Pradesh in several Hindu Swarna Devta Temples/Shakti Peeths, . Kumhars are the priest/Pujaries and are considered at par with Brahmins.The Angiras gotra higher caste brahmin used to visit Satrol village of Sati where members of Kumhars community are the purjaris In several places Kumhars are the Lambardars/Zamindars. Historically in Himachal Pradesh Kumhars are considered anderkee or swarana caste. The higher caste Brahmins accept Kachha & Pakka food only from Kumhar community members. In most of the Districts. of India Kumhars are very minority community and only 0.01% of whole population of India and many other communities including other artisian castes are 100 to 1000 times more than Kumhar community members. Therefore, most of the people does not know the real identity of Kumhar community and have many illusions about identity. Pottery is the biggest industry of the past run by the elite people. According to hinduism Pot is worshipable, Chaak is worshable and Kumahars are also woshipbed like Thakur(God) in some places by vaish community. Historians have to first deeply study the Manusmirity, then write about the verna of potters & other coultivaing caste. Moreover, Kumhars are from kshatriya origina in Hindu verna hiarachy and are swarna according to Hinduism and Hindu verna system.
Guest
santosh verma
28 days 1 hour ago
There is a tradition in Vaish(wealthy community) who used to on fast during the Basra days of Adi Shakti Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa. They used to offer different dishes(veg.) to Adi Shakti Maa Ambe Sheetla Maa and holy potter family. Holy Kumhars are an Ishwaria(God or Thakur) Jatti Verga -only backward in numbers game.
Donkey is also one of the Vehicle of Adi Shakti Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa. You few negative bloody peoples used to create illusions, misconceptions, therefore, as Donkey is also the Vehicle of Adi Shakti Maa Durga Ambe Sheetla Maa, hence you should not worship Adi Shakti Maa Ambe Durga Sheetla Maa.
Guest
Santosh verma
2 months 22 days ago
Verna division in Hinduism
In Hinduism with Brahmin( commonly surname Sharma is used with all sub-castes of brahnmin including Kashyapa gotra brahmin.
With Kshatriya(Verma or verman surname is commonly used including Kashyapa Rajput} ,
With Vaish community (Gupta Surname commonly used with all communities
and with Shudra(kahsyapa surname is commonly used with all shudras(untouhables).
Guest
Santosh Verma
2 months 12 days ago
Kumahrs are general-cum-obc in all the 29 States & 7 Union territoy of India.
Guest
Santosh verma
1 month 22 days ago
Reply to Wikipedia blocker/site creater & other english historian & their agents, you are those people who shuck the blood of Kumhar community & other people, Tell me where in the Manusmiriti, Kumhar & sunar caste mentioned shudra. Why in each region of India cobbler (chamars) are 100 to 1000 times more then Kumhar community, tell me?. Where in Hinduism/shastra- labour services taken from donkey (shudra animal) are considered unclean whereas Lord Shiva onece take for some time a gesture/birth like donkey to show the world that no animal is inferior ?. All four Verna orignates from Prajapati( Viraat Manav or King or Thakur), then when hinduism or Hindu ritual system gave Kumhar a surname Prajapati(a Viraat Manav) then how they are shudra whereas Hindu ritual system ranked them Kshatriya(King).
Dear ealier Janeu(sacred thread) firstly had only allowd to Kumhar community alongiwth Brahmin to wear.
Caste is a very senstive issue, You wikipedia blocker/and this site creater and other english historian people and their agents who used to shuck the blood of this poor holy kumhar caste, The Indian constitution does not permit people like you to write anything on caste which hurts the people and affects their status in the society, therefore, legal action against you including a little knowledge holder historians(agents of britishers) will be taken under Information & technology Act and under various provisions of the constitution of India.As due to you people Kumhar community people are renouncing this holy profession and you people are used to create infefrioty complex among people of this holy caste..
You people gave many other 90% brahmin, cultivators, many other forwarding casts a shudra(untouhables rank) or status. You propogating the britishers historian philosophy of divide & rule.
Brahmin are of two types upper (clean) & middle (so callled unclean), but now they used to intermarry with each other because, in fact they are one.
For higher caste brahmins, all castes are unclean wheather they are Rajput(King), Sunar, Lohar, Vaish(trader caste) etc, Higher caste brahamin are prohibited to take food or water from King (all types of Rajputs or Prajapati), Sunar, Lohar, vaish & shudra castes. But, now this tradition has been relaxed by the Brahmins.
Manusmirity mentioned about Iron work, gold work, vaish work Badi work, leather work, dom work, julah work, Turi work, Mali work, cultivation work etc and about their verna status..
All dominating majority castes even cobblers(chamers) are now considered themselves superior to Kumhar (minority holy community). You shudra mind above mentioned people ranked Kumhars below to untouchables.
There are two type of verna system i.e. according to Hinduism/brahmincial system & another one Britishers verna system which is based on malafide intention to break India and you people are the followers of Britishers verna system which is absoloutely anti to Hinduism. According to Britishers no one is Kshatirya in Hinduism even Rajputs(in whole India), but Hindu Verna system considered Rajputs, Kumhars, Sunar, Jhinwar,Jaats, Gjurjar,Yadav(Ahir), Nair, Bunts, Raju and many other kshatriya castes of India "Kshatriyas(Kings casts).
Guest
Santosh verma
1 month 22 days ago
Buffalow, donkey etc. except holy cow are ranked shudra animals who are used for milk and Labour services. Pottery is traditinaly a swarna profession in Hinduism. Therefore, 96% potters (Kumhars who make holy pots on holy chaak) are pure and swarna and other 4% are those who are Koli(sc) & other minal casts who are not allowed to make pots on the holy chaak and not have the religious rights like holy pure kumhars and ranked shudra.
Pottery is the biggest indusry of the past and holy pots are used by all highers casts for cooking, drinking and for worship in holy festivals and occassions.
Guest
yogesh Gola
3 months 11 days ago
Yogesh gola
Guest
prakash kumbhar
6 months 2 days ago
Really you have little knowledge, Kumbhar,prajapati ,kumawat are same. They were economically backward for time being but never in history days. You must know we ruled most part of country (King shalivahan and Myshore king were kumhar). we are therefore till called RAJE in marathi. You must describe us as BRAHMIN AND KSHETRIA as per indian PURANA. Dont show your little knowledge towards very respected and predominant community all over india. Kumhar were always respectable throughout the history of human being and never spotted by any such person comment
Guest
yogesh Gola
3 months 11 days ago
Hi
Guest
VIRENDER VERMA
7 months 1 day ago
Dear all, i do not belive in caste because every man made by god. caste made by us. so i say that love each other and spread across only love. because every thing win by love. regards, virender verma.
Guest
kik android hack
8 months 9 days ago
Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
Guest
kik android push notifications
8 months 13 days ago
Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There's a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thank you
Guest
kik messenger apk
8 months 14 days ago
An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this issue here on your blog.
Guest
kik android app
8 months 16 days ago
I think this is one of the such a lot significant info for me. And i'm happy studying your article. However wanna commentary on few basic things, The website style is perfect, the articles is actually great : D. Excellent job, cheers