Teli

Who are they? Traditionally, the Teli are an occupational caste of oil-pressers. The traditional wooden oil press was driven by blindfolded oxen around a mill. This labour intensive mill has been replaced by motor operated mills. However, many of today’s oil mills are owned by other communities. Consequently, the Teli…

Tamboli

Who are they? The Tamboli are also known as Tambuli, Tamuli or Tamli. Tamboli has been derived from the Sanskrit word tambul meaning betel leaf which the Tamboli have cultivated and sold for generations along with areca nuts. They live in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and Maharashtra.…

Sonar

Who Are They? The Sonar are gold and silversmiths. They make jewelry and ornaments that are elaborately designed and inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones. Some Sonar cut and polish diamonds, while others engrave deities on pendants and gold and silver plates. Most Sonar own their jewelry shops and showrooms…

Shaikh

Who Are They? The Shaikh are a large Muslim community of around 45 million who are primarily cultivators but also rear buffaloes, cows, goats and sheep in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Business, trade, service, weaving, woodwork, masonry are other sources of livelihood. Location They are settled in…

Sayyad

Who are they? The Sayyad, also spelled Syed or Saiyed, are a large Muslim landowning rural community. Numbering around 12.2 million they are spread over one hundred and thirty-one districts of the country. The largest number reside in Uttar Pradesh (1.3 million) and the remainder are spread between Maharashtra, Andhra…