Heri (caste)

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The Heri are a Hindu caste found in the states of Haryana and Punjab in India.[1][2]

Origin[edit]

The Heri claim to have originated in Rajasthan, and said to have immigrated some four centuries ago. According to traditions, the word Heri is derived from the Rajasthani word her, meaning a herd of cattle. They were still quite recently a nomadic community. The Heri are one of the many Gypsy like groupings found in North India, with their specialist occupation being that they were expert trackers and hunters. They still speak Rajasthani, and are found throughout Haryana.[3]

According to their traditions, the Aheri are Rajputs by origin, who were soldiers in the army of Maharana Pratap. After the defeat of the Maharan by the Mughal Empire, the Aheri were hunted down by the Mughal armies. To escape the Mughals, they fled and settled in Punjab. The Aheri are found mainly in the districts of Patiala, Bhatinda, Firuzpur, and Faridkot.[4]


Present circumstances[edit]

In Haryana, they are now mainly a community of settled agriculturist.

The Aheri of Punjab speak Rajasthani among themselves, and Punjabi with outsiders. They are strictly endogamous, and practice clan exogamy. Within the Aheri community, the Thori sub-group are considered of inferior status, and there are no intermarriage between the Thori sub-group and other Aheris. Their clans called gots from the Sanskrit gotra or clan, the main ones being the Bhatta, Chahurwal, Chandalia, Dekhta, Dahinwal, Dharoria, Dharuheria, Ganchand, Ghaman, Hogal, Gotala, Hajipuria, Jhindia, Junbal, Mahta, Mewal, Panwal, Rathore, Sagaria, Saillingia, Samelwal, Sandlas, Sarsut and Sendhi.


References[edit]

  1. ^ People of India Hayana Volume XXIII edited by M.L Sharma and A.K Bhatia pages 208 to 215 Manohar
  2. ^ People of India Punjab Volume XXXVII edited by I.J.S Bansal and Swaran Singh pages 25 to 28 Manohar
  3. ^ People of India Hayana Volume XXIII edited by M.L Sharma and A.K Bhatia pages 208 to 215 Manohar
  4. ^ People of India Punjab Volume XXXVII edited by I.J.S Bansal and Swaran Singh pages 25 to 28 Manohar