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HEADLINES: 

 GUJJAR TRIBES

 Origin 

The Gujjar tribals for many years have settled in the heartland of Himachal Pradesh. In all the tribal communities the Gujjars are held high in esteem. The Gujjars are also called as Goojar, Gujar & Gurjara. They are mostly residing the northern western part of Himachal Pradesh. The origin of this tribe is quite interesting as it has said it was during the time of invasion of Hunas the Gurjara tribes moved into northern India and the Himachal Pradesh. It is also assumed by another school of thought that the Khazar tribes are the Ancestors of the Gujjar Tribe.

The term Gujjar has arrived from Khazar. In India, Gujjar populations are found mainly in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, northern Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The semi-nomadic Gujjar groups are found in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and north-western Uttar Pradesh. The name for the state of Gujarat has derived from "Gurjar".

 Culture 

Gujjars are culturally very much depictable by dancing, religious rites and customs etc. The tribes have got inclination towards religion. Some of them have converted themselves to Hinduism and also Islam. They are the tribes who strictly follow old traditions and customs. They still follow custom of early marriages, where girls are married at an age of 14 - 15 years and boys at 17-18 years.

 Occupation  

For most of the Gujjar Tribes is in the northern Indian Territory the occupation is semi nomadic tribal community. The tribals herd animals like sheeps, goats and buffalo. Semi-nomadic people of Gujjar community are in the habit of migrating to upper parts of Himalayas along with their cattle during the summer season and back to the plains with the onset of chilly winters. There is dearth of trained Gujjar artisans in various handicrafts. Therefore, they are constantly dependent on the items needed by them from the market and the Barbers, Blacksmiths, cobblers and other artisans also move with them to various locations. These people have adopted their own way of life and Gujjars have accepted them as part of their social group.

 People 

The Gujjar tribal communities have an exquisite tribal way of dressing style for both men and women which are of distinctive pattern. They have colourful turban with unique style of wrapping which has been a mark of the Gujjar tribal Community. Topi which is also called as Afgani hat is worn by the aged Gujjar men. Gujjar females have greatly enhanced beautiful clothes called Duppatta which looks like a shawl. They are also fond of jewellery and have a fascination for the necklace with a triangle pendant, studded with a beautiful stone in the center of it. It symbolizes 'evil eye' and mainly utilized to avert bad luck.
Place /Location (then and now)
Himachal Pradesh & Jammu and Kashmir
Population
55 lakhs in Jammu and Kashmir & Himachal Pradesh
Languages spoken
Gojri, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu,, English
Religion/God
Hinduism, Islam Sikhism
Food
Veg and Non Veg , wheat , cereals

 Food  

Mostly they depend on milk products as their staple food besides cereals, wheat and maize. They may be vegetarians and non-vegetarians as well. The favorite dishes of Gujjar are "Maki ki Roti" Ganhar / Sarssoon ko Sag, Lassi, Kalari, Karan, etc.It is surprising that Gujjar are mostly vegetarians.The Banhara Gujjars mainly live in "Kullas" made from Special type of grass, while Bakerwals live in temporary Doharas and in Tamboos. Settled Gujjars mainly live in "Kothas"

 Language  

The Gujjar tribal community has the beautiful language of Gujari also called as Gojri. The language belongs to the Rajasthani language group. The communities have also developed fluency in other languages such as Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Pastho, Pahari languages like Kangri and Dogri.

 Festivals  

Festivals are of part and parcel for Gujjar Tribal Community. They celebrate all the festivals of national significance apart from these Gujjars too have incorporated their religious beliefs and customs. Id is one the main festivals for their society which they celebrate with great festivity and enthusiasm. The Government of India has set up various commissions from time to time for identification of various weaker communities so that data and other necessary information could be collected in respect of their educational, social, economic and political status and on the basis of such datas and resultant recommendations, such downtrodden communities could be provided avenues for development and progress. A few of such commissions which have played vital and historical role include Gajendragadkar Commission, the Sikri Commission, the Wazir Commission (1969), the Anand Commission (1976) and the Mandal Commission which covered the entire country.

 Economy  

Gujjar Tribe has always been an exploited component with Gujjar politics which is related to the poor economic condition of this down trodden community. The basic characteristics of Gujjar Economy is:

  • Labour Class
  • Agriculture Class
  • Service Class
  • Business Class
    • Dealing with Milk and Milk Products
    • Dealing with Mutton and Woollen products
    • Other business related Activities
  • Artisans Class: The people associated with professional handicrafts, handloom and all semi-skilled activities.



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