The Marwari or Marwadi are an Indian ethnic group that originate from the Rajasthan region of India. Their language, also called Marwari, is a dialect of Rajasthani and is a part of the western group of Indo-Aryan languages.
The term Marwari once referred to the area encompassed by the former princely state of Marwar, also called the Jodhpur region of southwest Rajasthan in India. It has evolved to be a designation for the Rajasthani people in general but it is used particularly with reference to certain jātis that fall within the Bania ethnic category. Those communities, whose traditional occupation has been as traders, include the Agarwals, Khandelwals, Maheshwaris, Oswals, Mahawar Vaishya and Poddars.
Dwijendra Tripathi believes that the Marwari term was probably used by the traders only when they were outside their home region; that is, by the diaspora.
The Marwari traders have historically been migratory in habit. The possible causes of this trait include the proximity of their homeland to the major Ganges-Yamuna trade route; movement to escape famine; and the encouragement given to them to settle in kingdoms ruled by Rajputs who saw advantages in having their skills. Their abilities were valued by Rajput rulers because, in the period prior to the influx of the British to northern India, the Rajput kingdoms were often warring against each other and were also practitioners of conspicuous consumption in their royal courts.
Medha Kudaisya has said that the Marwaris
... made the transition from being niche players in trading to becoming industrial conglomerates ... From being brokers and bankers, the Marwaris went on to break the British monopoly over the jute industry after World War 1; they then moved into other industrial sectors, such as cotton and sugar, and set up diversified conglomerates. By the 1950s, the Marwaris dominated the India private industry scenario, emerging as the establishers of its most prominent business houses.
The Marwari language is a dialect of the Rajasthani language. The latter evolved from the Old Gujarati (also called Old Western Rajasthani, Gujjar Bhakha or Maru-Gurjar), language spoken by the people in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marwari people.|
- Kudaisya, Medha M. (2009). "Marwari and Chettiar Merchants. 1850s-1950s: Comparative Trajectories". In Kudaisya, Medha M.; Ng, Chin-Keong. Chinese and Indian Business: Historical Antecedents. Leiden: BRILL. p. 87. ISBN 978-90-04-17279-1. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
- Tripathi, Dwijendra (1996). "From Community to Class: The Marwaris in a Historical Perspective". In Bhandani, B. L.; Tripathi, Dwijendra. Facets of a Marwar Historian. Jaipur: Publication Scheme. pp. 189–196. ISBN 978-81-86782-18-7.
- Kudaisya, Medha M. (2009). "Marwari and Chettiar Merchants. 1850s-1950s: Comparative Trajectories". In Kudaisya, Medha M.; Ng, Chin-Keong. Chinese and Indian Business: Historical Antecedents. Leiden: BRILL. p. 86. ISBN 978-90-04-17279-1. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
- Ajay Mitra Shastri; R. K. Sharma, Devendra Handa (2005). Revealing India's past: recent trends in art and archaeology. Aryan Books International. p. 227. ISBN 978-81-7305-287-3. "It is an established fact that during 10th-11th century ... Interestingly the language was known as the Gujjar Bhakha."