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Banjara woman in traditional dress
0.3 million
Maharashtra 0.9 million
Madhya Pradesh 0.4 million
Rajasthan 0.3 million
Lambadi, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Marathi, Gormati
Related ethnic groups
other Hindustani populations

The Banjara, also called Lamani are a class of usually described as nomadic people from the Indian state of Rajasthan, North-West Gujarat, and Western Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharastra and Eastern Sindh province of Pakistan. Like many nomadic castes, they claim to be descended from Rajputs, and are also known as Lakha Banjara means Lakhapati, Banjari, Pindari, Bangala, Banjori, Banjuri, Brinjari, Lamani, Lamadi, Lambani, Labhani, Lambara, Lavani, Lemadi, Lumadale, Labhani Muka, Goola, Gurmarti,dhadi, Gormati, Kora, Sugali, Sukali, Tanda, Vanjari, Vanzara, and Wanji. Together with the Domba, they are sometimes called the "gypsies of India".[1]

They are divided in two tribes, Maturia, and Labana.[2]


According to J.J Roy Burman, in his book titled, “Ethnography of a Denotified Tribe The Laman Banjara”, The name Laman is popular long before the name Banjara and the Laman Banjaras originally came from Afghanistan before settling in Rajasthan and other parts of India. He states that according to Motiraj Rethod, the Lamans were originally from Afghanistan and there is an independent province and village called Gor in that country.[3]


The most numerous Banjara or Lambadi community is in the Telangana state at 2.2 million where they speak their own dialect along with Telugu. In Karnataka, they are spread in northern parts of the state.[4]


The word "Banjara" must have evolved from Prakrit and Hindi and Rajasthani words "Bana/Ban or Vana/Van" meaning Forest or Moorlands and "Chara" meaning 'Movers'. The Banjara are (together with the Domba) sometimes called the "Gypsies of India".[5]


In the state Rajasthan, they are Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. In Karnataka, they are categorised as Scheduled Tribes since 1977.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lamani Economy and Society in Change. Mittal Publications. pp. 14–. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  2. ^ (sir.), Alfred Comyn Lyall (1870). "Appendix A : Sketch of Banjáras of Berár". Gazetteer for the Haidarábád assigned districts commonly called Berár. Printed at the Education Society's Press. p. 195. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  3. ^ J.J Roy Burman, “Ethnography of a Denotified Tribe The Laman Banjara" A Mittal Publication
  4. ^ Halbar p. 16
  5. ^ "Lambanis or Gypsies". Kamat. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007. [unreliable source?]
  6. ^ Halbar. p 19


External links[edit]