Gadia Lohar

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A girl from the Gadia Lohars nomadic tribe of Marwar, cooking on the outskirts of a village in Ratlam district

Gadia Lohars (also known as Gaduliya Lohars) are a nomadic community of Rajasthan, India. They are also found in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. They are lohar (ironsmith) by profession who move on from one place to another place on bullock carts, which in Hindi are called gadi, hence the name 'Gadia Lohar'. These Lohars are different from the Lohar clan of Iran, Pakistan and India. They usually make and repair agricultural and household implements.

Their origin is shrouded in legend. Their forefathers were blacksmiths in the army of Maharana Pratap of Mewar. When Mewar fell to the Mughals they pledged never to return to their homeland and never to settle anywhere else until Rana's hegemony was restored.

The bullock carts are their homes. They lead a hard life and despite the vagaries of weather and the uncertainties of their trade, they, children of the desert, are a handsome and cheerful lot and remain buoyantly dignified, unmindful of their hard life.

A documentary on them entitled "Gadia Lohar: A Life and Livelihood in Question?" (Hindi/Mini DV/ 24 minutes / 2005/) was filmed by director Meenakshi Vinay Rai.

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