Orh

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The Orh are a Hindu caste found in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in India. They have been granted Scheduled Caste status in both these states, and are also known as Mistri and Raj.[1]

Origin[edit]

The Orh are one of number of communities of Dom origin found in the Kumaon and Garhwal areas of Uttarakhand. There traditional occupation is that of a mason, and according to the their traditions, they originated in western Nepal, where many are still found. The Orh either speak Kumaoni or Garhwali, although most can also understand Hindi.[2]

Present circumstances[edit]

The Orh live in multi-caste villages in the middle and lower altitudes of Kumaon and Garhwal, and are strictly endogamous. There society is internally segmented into a number of patrilineages, locally called raths. The rath is an exogamous grouping of members sharing descent from a common ancestor. These clans are further sub-divided into das dinia and teen dinia, being close and distant agnate groups who share in the birth and death rituals.

The heredity calling of the Orh is stone work and masonry, with agriculture and animal husbandry being important subsidiary occupations. Like many artisan castes, the Orh have seen a decline in their traditional occupation of masonry, although many are now employed by the commercial construction industry. The Orh have a strong caste council, referred to as a gharelu panchayat, which resolves all intra community disputes, such as elopement, theft or adultery.

The Orh follow Hinduism, but incorporate many animistic elements in their religion. Their gods and deities are mostly of local origin. Such as Sheipal, who is their presiding deity and his consort Devi. Other important deities include Gangnath, Gardhevi, and Bhairav. Part of their belief is shamanistic, and are known as dangaria.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Three edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 1450 to 1455 Manohar Publications
  2. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Three edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 1450 to 1455 Manohar Publications
  3. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Three edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 1450 to 1455 Manohar Publications