Introduction / History
The Rabari people are distributed in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajashthan and Gujarat. They are also called Raika, Rabha, Bhopa, Devagi and Utwalle. They have a caste council called Nyat that controls matters related to their community. The Rabari social organization is characterized by the clan system, locally called Ataks.
In Rajasthan the Rabari wear colourful dresses, while the Gujarati Rabari prefers white garments. They are good at the traditional art of cloth embroidery. They marry within their community. They speak Hindi, Marwari, Haryanvi and use the Devanagari script. The Rabari tend sheep, goats and camels.
Most of the Rabari are vegetarian while some are non-vegetarian; their everyday diet consists of homemade bread of millet or wheat and jowar.
Child marriage is common, however adult marriages are also performed through negotiation. Remarriage is permitted for both the widow and widower. They maintain only putative kinship with others. The Rabari live in joint families. Children are also engaged in their primary occupation. The dead are cremated.
The Rabari regard Durga and Shiva as their supreme deities. Shiva, Krishna, Durga and Amba are their clan deities. Rama, Ganesh, Shiva, Durgadevi and Hanuman are also worshipped as village deities. Every year a festival is held at Asthal Bohar for three days.
Alternate names: Rahbari, Raika, Rabari Bhopa
* For the salvation of the Rabari people.
* For an end to child marriages and other social problems among the Rabari people.
* For children to be sent for education.