History and origin
There are various theories as to the origin of the Patari tribe. According to the tribe itself, the Patari are by origin Gond tribals, who were ritual specialists and advisers to the Gond kings. They belong to the Devgond sub-division. Other sources, such as William Crooke claim that the Patari are actually of Majhwar origin, and descend from seven brothers, of which their ancestor Patari was responsible for the rituals and traditions of the other six Majhwar clans. The Patari once spoke Chhattisgarhi, but now speak Hindi. They are found throughout south eastern Uttar Pradesh, but are concentrated in Sonbhadra district.
The Patari are further divided into four sub-divisions, each of which have separate totemistic septs called kuris. Major septs among the first sub-group include the Narkam, Poija, Kusro, Soi, Neti and Serlo. In the second sub-group, major kuris include the Tekam, Netam. Pusan and Marpachi.While in the third sub-groups, major kuri include the Marai and Sarota, and fourth sub-group, the kuris include the Kuram, Poika and Armon. The Patari are endogamous, but practice kuri exogamy.
The Patari are priests, locally known as Baigas, of a number of tribal grouping in south east Uttar Pradesh such as the Majhwar, Chero and Bhuiyar. Their community deities include Buradeo, and they incorporate a number of folk beliefs. The Patari have a traditional caste councol, referred to as the biradari panchayat, to which are intra community disputes are referred too. This is headed by a chaudhary, a position which hereditary. Most chaudhary families are perceived as natural leaders of the community. The panchayat has the power to excommunicate a person, but more often fines are given. A large number of issues such as elopement or adultery are dealt with by the panchayat.
Many Patari are now farmers and sharecroppers, having abandoned their traditional occupation of priesthood. An important subsidiary occupation is animal husbandry.
The Government of Uttar Pradesh had classified the Patari as a Scheduled Caste but by 2007, they were one of several groups that it redesignated as Scheduled Tribes. As of 2017, this tribal designation applies only for Sonbhadra district, as it also did at the time of the 2011 Census of India when the Patari Scheduled Caste population in Uttar Pradesh was 366.
- People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Three edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 1135 to 1138
- "State At A Glance - Uttar Pradesh". Pratiyogita Darpan. 2 (13): 81. July 2007.
- "State wise Scheduled Tribes — Uttar Pradesh" (PDF). Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
- "A-10 Individual Scheduled Caste Primary Census Abstract Data and its Appendix - Uttar Pradesh". Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2017-02-04.