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Kumhar Rajput Clan making Pottery

October 31, 1907
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Babur II 1881-1920
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Kumhar is a caste or community in India, Nepal and Pakistan. Kumhar have historically been associated with art of pottery.



The Kumhars derive their name from the Sanskrit word Kumbhakar meaning earthen-pot maker. Dravidian languages conform to the same meaning of the term Kumbhakar. The term Bhande, used to designate the Kumhar caste, also means pot. The potters of Amritsar are called Kulal or Kalal, the term used in Yajurveda to denote the potter class.


Introduction / History

The word Kumhar means maker of pots. They are called by the name Kumar as well. Though most are Hindu or Muslim, there are Sikhs among them, scattered throughout northern India, especially in Punjab. They speak Punjabi and read and write in Gurmukhi and Devanagari.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kumhars make earthen pots as their main work. Some of their products are made out of ceramic clay or glass. They sell their goods to their neighbors. Some are in other work such as cultivation. They people practice adult marriages. They do not allow for divorce. Sons inherit the property when the father dies with the oldest son taking charge of the home.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Sikhism originated from a 15th century teacher named Guru Nanak Dev as a reform movement. He rejected the Hindu caste system, taught that all people were equal and that all have equal access to God. The Sikh God is formless, without gender and is to be found in everyone. One gets closer to God by living a good life and by practicing charity. Like Hindus, Sikhs believe in reincarnation and the law of karma; you reap what you sowed in your previous life. Like Muslims, the Sikhs worship only one God. One may recognize a Sikh man by his distinctive turban. All the 10 great Sikh gurus wore turbans as a sign of their submission to God. Sikh teaching mandates that a person not cut his or her hair. They worship their holy book, the Granth Sahib, which is a collection of hymns.


What Are Their Needs?

Sikh Kumhars can use new markets for their products. This would allow them to earn enough money to provide the next generation with higher education and a better life.



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