Vasava

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The Vasava are a clan of the Bhil ethnic community found in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in India. They have scheduled tribe status. In Rajasthan, they are also known as Vasave.

Origin[edit]

The Vasava in Gujarat trace their descent from Eklavya. They originally hail from south Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The community are now found in districts of Baroda, Surat, Bharuch and Panchmahal. They speak Bhili language, although most can now speak Gujarati.[1]

The Vasave in Maharashtra are found mainly in the Khandesh region. Their settlements exist mainly in the hilly and forest terrain of the Satpuda range. The Vasave speak the Bhil language, but most also speak Marathi. Historically they were endogamous, but marriages have started to take place with other Bhil groups. The Vasave are mainly a community of farmers, with animal husbandry being a secondary occupation. About 80% of the Vasave are Hindu, while the other 20% are Christians.[2]

Present circumstances[edit]

The Vasava of Gujarat are now an endogamous community and maintain village exogamy. They are traditionally a community of hunter-gatherers. Many are now agricultural labourers, and a few also own land. Those who own land grow paddy, sorghum, wheat, cereals and different kinds of pulses. The Vasava are Hindu, although they incorporate many folk beliefs.[3]

As of 2001, the Vasava in Rajasthan were classified as a Scheduled Tribe under the Indian government's reservation program of positive discrimination.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ People of India Gujarat Volume XXII Part One edited by R.B Lal, S.V Padmanabham & A Mohideen page 226 to 230 Popular Prakashan
  2. ^ People of India Maharashtra Volume XXX Part One edited by B.V Bhanu, B.R Bhatnagar, D.K Bose, V.S Kulkarni and J Sreenath pages 326-335
  3. ^ People of India Gujarat Volume XXII Part One edited by R.B Lal, S.V Padmanabham & A Mohideen page 226 to 230 Popular Prakashan
  4. ^ "List of Scheduled Tribes". Census of India: Government of India. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2012.