|Regions with significant populations|
|• Hindi • Bagri|
The word Bawariya is set to mean people who roam in Hindi. They are a semi-nomadic group scattered over North India. The Bawariya is a community of people and not a caste although the caste system of India puts them in caste category, but they still retain their original nomadic lifestyle and keep away from the main caste systems as practised by many people in India. This is reflected in their clans, all of whom are well known clan names common with north western communities of India. Their area of in habitation and migration tells the real story of their ancient nomadic identity. At present, the Bawariya are found in the districts of Meerut, Banda, Agra, Mainpuri and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring state of Haryana. They speak Bawari among themselves, which is similar to Marwari.
According to traditions in Punjab, the Bawariya or Bauria, as they are also known ,get their name from the word baur, meaning a net. As a community that was involved in hunting, the community became known as the Bawariya, but they are, in fact, Rajputs. The Bauria are found mainly in the districts of Firozpur, as well as Bhatinda, Ludhiana and Sangrur.
The Bawariya are strictly endogamous community, and practice the principle of clan exogamy. These clans are referred to as gotras, and their main gotras include the Chauhan, Hada, Badjurger, Kohli, Panwar, Dhandhara and Badhiyar. Each of these clans is of equal status, and intermarry.
The Bawariya in Uttar Pradesh are now mainly a community of marginal farmers. They produce wheat, peas, gram and now increasingly sugarcane. Some have also started rearing milch cattle and other animals. Many are still involved in hunting, particularly those settled in the Yamuna khadir. As a Dalit community, they often suffer from societal discrimination. They live in multi-caste villages, but occupy distinct quarters. Each of their settlement contains an informal caste council, known as a biradari panchayat. The panchayat acts as instrument of social control, dealing with issues such as divorce and adultery. The 2011 Census of India for Uttar Pradesh showed the Bawariya population, who were classified as a Scheduled Caste, as 7223.
The Bawariya in Haryana have 10 sub-divisions, the Rajput, Gandalli, Ghumariya, Dhumree, Banswasee, Kapadia, Bidhoth,Belda and Delhiwala. They are said to have immigrated from Rajasthan, and many still speak the Bagri dialect. Among the nine sub-groups, the Rajput Bawariya are the largest, and do not intermarry with the other groupings. The second largest group are the Ghumariya Bawariya, who are a community of peasant farmers. Next is belda Bawariya who is living his life by cultivating farming, animal husbandry and wages, belda Bawariya is one of the most peaceful nature in Bawariya caste, belda Bawariya is the inspiration of the entire Bawariya caste from with history, the Delhiwala are cattle rearers and traders, the Gandalli are labourers, the Kapadia are pedlars while the Dhumree are involved in the selling of folk medicines. Despite their traditional occupations, almost all the Bawariya are now employed as daily wage labour. Many are employed as village watchmen, an occupation that is hereditary among many Bawariya families. Although living in multi-caste villages, the Bawariya occupy their own quarters.
- People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 224 to 228 Manohar Publications
- People of India Punjab Volume XXXVII edited by I.J.S Bansal and Swaran Singh pages 89 to 93 Manohar
- "A-10 Individual Scheduled Caste Primary Census Abstract Data and its Appendix - Uttar Pradesh". Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
- People of India Hayana Volume XXIII edited by M.L Sharma and A.K Bhatia pages 56 to 62 Manohar