Muslim Chhipi

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The Muslim Chhipi are Muslim community found mainly in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in India. They are Muslim converts from the Hindu Chhipi caste.[1]


According to their traditions, the Chhipi, or sometimes pronounced Chhipa were originally Rajputs who were imprisoned by Taimur at the fort of Lohargarh in Rajasthan. They escaped from the fort and fled to Rohilkhand. The Rajputs then hid, and were known as the chhipna Rajputs after the Hindi word for hidden which is chhipana. Over time chhipna was corrupted to chhipi. Other traditions state that they get their name from the Hindi word chhapna, which means to print. Other traditions refer to their taking up the occupation of printing clothes after the conversion of the community to Islam. The Chhipi is generally considered simply as an endogamous sub-group within the Rangrez community.[2] They are found mainly in the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Bijnor, Bareilly, Moradabad, Shahjahanpur, Kanpur, Allahabad and Fatehpur District.[3]

Present circumstances[edit]

In Uttar Pradesh, the Chhipi are a strictly endogamous community, although there are cases of intermarriage with the Behlim Rangrez, another community that is associated with printing of clothes . However, there is a marked preference to marry close kin, and they practice both parallel cousin and cross cousin marriages. The Chhipi are Sunni Muslims, and speak the Khari boli dialect of Hindi, but most can understand Urdu, and educated members of the community speak the language as well. They perceive themselves to be Shaikh status.[4]

The Chhipi are still involved with the printing of clothes. A small number have now entered other professions. In addition, the Chhipi are also involved in their sewing and selling of quilts. Like other artisan castes, they have also seen a decline in their traditional occupation. A good many are now wage labourers, with a smaller number who have taken to agriculture.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tribes and Castes of North Western Provinces and Oudh Volume II by William Crook
  2. ^ Muslim Caste in Uttar Pradesh: A Study in Culture Contact by Ghaus Ansari
  3. ^ Tribes and Castes of North Western Provinces and Oudh Volume II by William Crook
  4. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 385 to 389 Manohar Publications