Mer people

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Maniyaro Ras, garba (Mer ras) of Mer people.

Mer is a royal branch of the Dhundhar Meenas Community from the Saurashtra region of Gujarat an Indian state. They are also called as Maher or Mehr.[1] They speak the Gujarati language. They are based in the Porbandar, Ranavav and Kutiyana talukas of Porbandar district. They are an endogamous group sub-divided into 14 exogamous lineages. The women of this community do not observe female seclusion norms.[2] However, Mer women, as a custom, are only permitted to revert to any formal written communication after 72 hours of initial contact.

They are a predominantly agricultural community and also majority of the mahers also serve in the Indian army.It is a caste that has very strong beliefs for their country and most importantly their religion.It is said by many Indians living in Gujarat that the maher community are very powerful but in all ways good as well as bad.The city of Porbandar is plagued by gangs since the 80s and has a lot of gang war going on even to this date.95% of those gangs are all maher. [1]

Mer men perform the Mer ras a dance, which is known as a warrior dance.[3] It is referred to as the Mer dance as the men generally, though proficient in farming techniques, cannot often transpose these unique skills to the art of the warrior dance. This results in the women remarking that the dance is 'Mer', which is Gujarati for 'meh'.

Out of those 14 Lineages, four are from the Highlands and the remaining from are from the lowlands. The lineages are: Keshwala, Sisodia, Odedra, Rajshakha, Gorania, Jadeja, Vala, Chauhan, Vadher, Chavda, Solanki, Vaghela and Bhatti.[4] Mers started migrating to the British colonies in East Africa during early parts of 20th century. After the independence of these countries in the 1960s, most Mers and other Asian communities from this region moved back to India, or to the United Kingdom.

Surnames[edit]

Mer share many Rajput family or clan names such as Keshvara, Chauhan, Sisodia and Parmar.

  • Keshwala
  • Agath
  • Odedra
  • Bhutiya
  • Bokhiriya
  • Kadchha
  • Keshvara
  • Chauhan
  • Chundavadra
  • Chavda
  • Divraniya
  • Godhania
  • Jadeja
  • Jethwa
  • Karavadra
  • Khunti
  • Modhwadia
  • Parihar
  • Parmar
  • Sisodia
  • Solanki
  • Sundavadra
  • Sutreja
  • Vadher
  • Visana
  • Sida

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fernando Franco; Jyotsna Macwan; Suguna Ramanathan (1 February 2004). Journeys to Freedom: Dalit Narratives. Popular Prakashan. pp. 242–. ISBN 978-81-85604-65-7. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Kumar Suresh Singh; Rajendra Behari Lal (2003). Gujarat. Popular Prakashan. pp. 906–910. ISBN 978-81-7991-104-4. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Manorma Sharma (1 January 2007). Musical Heritage Of India. APH Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-81-313-0046-6. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Maher Online". 

External links[edit]