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Rathwa, Rathawa
Regions with significant populations
India 642,881[1][2]
              Gujarat 642,348[2]
              Maharashtra 488[2]
              Karnataka 45[2]
Bhil languages, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Hindustani
Traditional religion[3] and Hinduism
Related ethnic groups

The Rathwa are a Adivasi caste found in the state of Gujarat in India.[4] They are also known as Koli-Rathwa in Gujarat and Maharashtra. In Gujarat, the Koli consist of number of sub-groups, the main ones being the Rathwa-Baria.[5][6][7][8][9] They speak Rathwi (a Bhil language) and/or Gujarati.

History and origin[edit]

The Rathwa derive their name from the word rathbistar, which means an inhabitant of a forest or hilly region. They are said to have immigrated from Madhya Pradesh in the Middle Ages, and are now found in the talukas of Chhota Udepur, Jabugam and Nasvadi in Chhota Udepur District. The community are said to be a sub-group of the Koli community.[10]

Present circumstances[edit]

The community is endogamous, and consist of a number of exogamous clans, the main ones being the Hamania, Thebaria, Mahania, Kothari Baka and Fadia. They are mostly small- and medium-scale farmers. Many Rathwa are landless agriculture labourers, working on the lands of the Patidar community. The community follow their own folk religion, which has now been heavily influenced by the Hindu religion due to Sanskritisation. Their customs are similar to other tribal communities of the region such as the Patanwadia.[4] They are classified as a scheduled tribe in 3 states: Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra.[1]


  1. ^ a b "List of notified Scheduled Tribes" (PDF). Census India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "A-11 Individual Scheduled Tribe Primary Census Abstract Data and its Appendix". Census of India 2011. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2017-03-24. 
  3. ^ Rathwa at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  4. ^ a b People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Three edited by R.B Lal, P.B.S.V Padmanabham, G Krishnan & M Azeez Mohideen pages 1185-1189
  5. ^ Afe Adogame; Magnus Echtler; Oliver Freiberger (17 July 2013). Alternative Voices: A Plurality Approach for Religious Studies. Essays in Honor of Ulrich Berner. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-3-525-54017-6. 
  6. ^ http://trti.gujarat.gov.in/rathwa
  7. ^ Tara Patel (1 January 1985). Social Contexts of Tribal Education. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 193–. GGKEY:T8FDPR7WUYY. 
  8. ^ Agrawal, S. P.; Aggarwal, J. C. (1991-01-01). Educational and Social Uplift of Backward Classes: At what Cost and How? : Mandal Commission and After. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 9788170223399. 
  9. ^ "Being Tribal". books.google.co.in. 
  10. ^ People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Three edited by R.B Lal, P.B.S.V Padmanabham, G Krishnan & M Azeez Mohideen pages 1185-1189

See also[edit]