In the 15th century, in Rewah, Rohi Das, a Chamar, had put forward similar views, but that reform bad not taken a permanent hold of the people. Ghasi Das has been more successful, and the entire Chamar tribe are carrying out his injunctions with more or less strictness. Their widows re-marry. They have no tradition as to the date of their arrival in this province, nor as to the cause of their being designated Chamar, meaning leather-worker. They have active, well set figures, of a brownish colour, with features less marked than those of the higher castes. They are fair cultivators, industrious, tenacious of their rights, and numbers of them are in easy circum stances. Their women are strong and sturdy, and many of them are fair and comely. The Kabir pan thi and Satnami theists are being daily added to.
The Dhanzi sect of the Damoh and Saugor districts combine the reading of the Koran with the observances of the Hindu religion.
The Aghori are Hindu beggars, who extort money from people by eating loathsome substances in their presence.—Tod's Rajasthan, ii. p. 371 ; Elliot's Supp. Glossary.
lat. 18° 40' and 23° 40' N., and long. 78° and 82i° E., an area of 135,000 square miles, is a mountain and forest region which was known to the Moghul geographers as Gondwana. It was held by the Gond chieftains who were dominant until overcome by the Mah rattas in the early part of the 18th century, and they are now under the sway of the British in Jeypore, Berar, Chutia Nagpur, and the Central a Provinces, and under the As JaId dynasty of Hyderabad.
Gonds are amongst the most numerous of the tribes of the Central Provinces. They are found in the north, about Saugor and thesourceof the Hasdo. On the east they cross that river into Sirguja, where they border on the Kol, and. are found with the Khand and Uriya in Nowagudda, Kareal, and Kharond or Kalahandi. In the south they form the mass of the population of Bastar, and a portion of the inhabitants of Jeypore in the Madras. Presidency, and occupy the hills along the banks of the Godavery, about Nirmul, in the Hyderabad country ; and on the west they are intermingled with the Hindus of Berar for 30 miles from the right bank of the 1Vardha, and along with the Kur extend along the hills both north and south of the Nerbadda to the meridian of Hindia, where they give place to the Bhil and the Nahal.
The Gonds divide themselves into twelve and a half castes, viz. Raj Gond, Raghuwal, Dadare, Katulya, Pedal, Dholi, Ojhyal, Thotyal, Koila bhutal, Koikopal, Kolam, Madyal, and an inferior sort of Padal as the half caste. Mr. Hislop says the first four, with the addition, according to some, of the Kolam, are comprehended under the name of Koitor, the Gond par excellence. This term, in its radical form Koi, is the name given also to the Meriah sacrificing tribes of Orissa, and to the wild tribes skirting the left bank of the Godavery, from Rajamundry to near the mouth of the Indrawati. The Koitor, as a rule, resent
with no small vehemence the imputation of be longing to any portion of the Hindu community. The first three classes generally devote themselves to agriculture ; the fourth includes those who have begun to conform to the Hindu religion and ape Hindu manners. The Padal, Pathadi, Pardhan, or Desai, called Raj Pardhan to dis tinguish them from the Mahrati- speaking half caste, who play on wind instruments of brass and spin botton thread, are the religious coun sellors or bhats of the upper classes. The Dhoti are musicians, and a subdivision of them in jungly districts are employed as goatherds. The Ojhyal are wandering bards and fowlers. The Thotyal (i.e. maimed) or Pendabarya, ' minstrels of God,' are also called Matyal, because their songs are chiefly in honour of Mata, the dreaded goddess of small-pox. They make baskets also. The Koilabhutal are the third wandering caste, and their women are dancing girls. They.follow their profession chiefly among the Hindus, it being reckoned disreputable by the people of their own race. The Koikopal, i.e. Gondi Gopal, are a settled class devoted to cow-keeping. The called Jhodia in Bastar, are savages on the Beila Dila Hills and in the remoter parts of Chanda ; the only clothing the women wear is a bunch of leafy twigs fastened with a string round their waists to cover them before and behind. In this they resemble the Juanga to the south of the Kol country, the Chenchi near the Pulicat lake and to the north of Ellore ; and till about A.D. 1830 a similar custom existed among the Holier near Mangalur. The Kolam extend along the Kand'hi Konda or Pindi Hills, on the south of the Wardha river, and along the table-land stretching east and north of Manikgad'h, and thence south to Danttanpalli, running parallel to the right bank of the Pranhita. They do not intermarry with the common Gond, but the one attend the nuptials of the other, and eat from their hands. Connected with the Gonds, though not included in the preceding classes, are the Badiya between Chind wara and the Mahadeva Hills, who have conformed to the Hindus in their language and.some religious observances ; the Habra, pretty numerous in Bastar, Bhandara, and Raipur, who covet the distinction of wearing a sacred thread, a privi lege, till recently, sold to those in Bastar by the raja ; the Gaiti Gonds in Bastar who call them selves Koitor ; the Moria Gond, who are the principal agriculturists in Bastar; and the Naikude Gond, inhabiting the jungles on both banks of the Pain-Ganga, and especially the tracts between Digaras and Umarkhed, and found about Aparawa pet, and as far as Nirmul, who have adopted the Hindu dress, and will not eat beef, but they live by the chase, or cut wood and grass, and are a terror to their neighbourhood by their depre dations.