Beldar

Who are they? The Beldar, also known as Lonia, are construction workers who till, dig and carry earth and supply bricks, clay and sand to construction sites. Their existence as a distinct community can be traced to the reign of an Afghan ruler of Northern India, Sher Shah Suri (1539-1545 AD). At…

Bari

Who are they? The Bari, also known as Rawat and Paanwale (betel-leaf sellers), are a community of household servants and makers of leaf-plates. Location They live in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.  In Bihar they are also known as Donwar. Ethnologists, Russel and Hiralal, describe the Bari as…

Barhai

Who are they? The Barhai or Badhai are an occupational caste of carpenters and wood carvers.  They make furniture, wooden ploughs, harrows, and other agricultural tools as carpenters for village and town people.  Numbering around 4 million people, they live in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and…

Barai

Who are they? The Barai grow and sell paan or betel vine leaf. They are also known as Tamboli (Sanskrit tambul meaning betel), Panwari (panwara, derived from the Sanskrit parna, meaning leaf) and Chaurasia (meaning four sages). Since the betel leaf is a luxury item and favored by upper castes…