The word tanti is derived from the Hindi word tant, which means a loom. They were traditionally weavers, and are one of the many communities found in South Asia, traditionally associated with this craft. According to their traditions, they were created by the Hindu god Shiva from his tears. The community is found in south Bihar, and district of Ranchi in Jharkhand.
The Tanti are endogamous and consist of a number of totemistic clans, the main ones being the Nag, Sal and Kachchap. They are further divided into uncha or pure Tanti, and the nicha or impure Tanti. These two sub-divisions do not intermarry. They use Tanti and Tantubai as their surnames. The Tanti speak Panchpargania dialect of Hindi. Their traditions are similar to other Hindu weaving castes, such as the Koshta and Tattama.
The Tanti were victims of mechanization, as their traditional occupation is no longer viable. They have now joined other mainstream occupations like but not limited to business,agriculture and other major industries. The community is Hindu, but incorporate many folk beliefs. They are a fairly successful community, and many have taken to modern education.. Tanti is also called Tantuway in some districts of Uttar Pradesh mainly Deoria, Gorakhpur and western part (bhojpur region) of Bihar mainly Chhapra, Sivan, Buxar, Arrah etc.They are not restricted to traditional weaving occupation anymore however they do own hand-loom mills and textile factories producing a fabric known as "Tanti Silk". There are several economical sections which includes landlords, businessmen and sects who work in government and private firms. main leaders of tanti caste in bihar:- krishna kumar das(santosh das),ravindra kumar tanti,kusheshwar das.(members of pan(tanti) joint committee.)
- People of India Bihar Volume XVI, Part Two, edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha, pp. 914-916, Seagull Books
- EGazette Bihar :: Recent Gazette. Egazette.bih.nic.in. Retrieved on 2015-07-14.