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Mistri, or Mistry, is a term for a master-craftsman of Vishwakrama caste.[1] However, Mistri is nowadays being replaced with "supervisor" and other terms, as with the Indian Railway who replaced it with supervisor in 2005.[2]

The term was adopted into Gujarati from the Portuguese mistry, meaning "master" or "teacher".[3] The Kshatriyas worked on building Dui Fort – which became the city of Diu, in which the Portuguese were present from its foundation in 1535 until 1961 – and the Portuguese called them mestre due to their skills at fort building.[4][full citation needed][5][full citation needed]

In Suthar culture, mistri also meant contractor[6] – mainly for the Mistris of Kutch, the majority of whom worked as railway, PWD and forest contractors during British rule. Many Parsi families working as contractors therefore also adopted the surname Mistry as their occupational surname, as in the example of Pallonji Mistry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Indian journal of psychology". 31 - 32. Indian Psychological Association. 1956: 89. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Sub: Filling up of promotion quota vacancies in the category of JE Gr.II scale Rs.5000-8000 consequent upon the implementation of V Pay Commission scales of pay". GOVERNMENT OF INDIA/BHARAT SARKAR MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS/RAIL MANTRALAYA (RAILWAY BOARD). 22 February 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2011. The avenue for promotion of Mistries (Redesignated as Supervisors)
  3. ^ "Collins Portuguese Dictionary 2nd edition". Collins. 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  4. ^ Kshatriya Ithihas : 1896
  5. ^ Kshatriya Abhudaya : Kutch
  6. ^ [1] American anthropology, 1971-1995: papers from the American anthropologist edited by Regna Darnell page 768