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This article is about the Rajput clan. For royal house belonging to this clan, see Paramara dynasty.

The Parmar (also known as Panwar, Punwar, Ponwar and Paramara) are a Rajput clan in India, who claim descent from the mythological Agnivansha dynasty. A Garasia clan also uses this title, claiming descent from the Rajputs.[1]

Ethnographic classification[edit]

Denzil Ibbetson, an administrator of the British Raj, classified the Parmars as a tribe rather than as a caste. He believed, like John Nesfield, that the society of the Northwest Frontier Province and Punjab Province in British India did not permit the rigid imposition of an administratively-defined caste construct as his colleague, Herbert Hope Risley preferred. According to Ibbetson, society in Punjab was less governed by ideas of caste based on varna and instead was more open and fluid. Tribes, which he considered to be kin-based groups that dominated small areas, were the dominant feature of rural life. Caste designators, such as Jat and Rajput, were status-based titles to which any tribe that rose to social prominence could lay a claim, and which could be dismissed by their peers if they declined. Susan Bayly, a modern anthropologist, considers him to have had "a high degree of accuracy in his observations of Punjab society ... [I]n his writings we really do see the beginnings of modern, regionally based Indian anthropology."[2]


  1. ^ Maya Unnithan-Kumar (1997). Identity, Gender, and Poverty: New Perspectives on Caste Nd Tribe in Rajasthan. Berghahn Books. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-57181-918-5. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Bayly, Susan (2001). Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. Cambridge University Press. pp. 139–141. ISBN 9780521798426.