Introduction / History
The Mahishya or Sadgop people are also known as Chasa or Chasi. They live in West Bengal and surrounding states. The titles they use are Sarkar, Roy, Majumdar, Biswas, Mallik, Khan and Mandal. Sadgop have several gotras such as Sandilya, Kashyap, Bharadwaj, Moudgulya and Alambayan. In the Varna system, they are known as Vaisyas and as the members of Nabashakha group.
The name Sadgop is derived from the two Sanskrit words: 'Sad' means good and 'Gop' means milkman. They are believed to be the descendants of lord Krishna. The Sadgop are a land owning community. Agriculture is their traditional and primary occupation.
Rice and wheat are their staple food. They drink alcohol and chew tobacco locally known as Khaine and Guraku. Their mother tongue is Bengali. They are also conversant with the Hindi and Oriya languages.
Marriages are negotiated and monogamy is common among them. Married women have a significant role to play in the ritual performances. Women worship the goddess Lakshmi daily. The Sadgop are expert in Alpana or floor painting on pujas.
They propitiate Hari and Lakshmi as their family deities. Their village deities are Dharmaraj, Manasa and Shiva among others. Gaya and Vrindaban are their pilgrim centers. Durgapuja, Kalipuja and Dharmarajer are their major festivals.
Alternate names: Chasa, Chasi
* For the salvation of the Sadgop people and that God may send several Christian workers among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
* For them to give up their dependence on alcohol and chewing tobacco.