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Yavatmal District

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About the Yavatmal district
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Brief About Yavatmal District

PEOPLE, LANGUAGES AND RELIGIONS

Mali: -
The Malis or Marals number are 4 per cent of the population and are chiefly occupied in growing vegetables and garden crops. They are less sturdy and dogged than the Kunbis and more easily buillied. They have several local subdivisions as the Kosaria, Phulmali, Bhange, Baone, Jire, Mire, Harde, Ghase, and Pahad.

Banjara:-
The Bankaras number are 6 per cent of the population, residing principally in the forest tracts to the south of the District. They are also known as Labhana from their former occupation of carrying salt. The Mathuria subcaste are the highest and wear the sacred thread. These generally live a reputable life, but the other Banjaras have a somewhat bad reputation for theft and cattle-lifting. The women wear 2 little sticks fixed upright in their hair, over which their cloth is drawn. Their front hair hangs down beside their face, and behind it is woven in to a plaitwith silk thread & hangs down the back. They have large ornaments of silver tied over the head and hanging down beside the ears; and to these are attached little bells. Their arms are covered with bangles of ivory, and they have tinkling anklets on the feet. The women wear skirts and short cloths drawn over the shoulders , and along their skirts double lines of coweries are embroidered.

Andh The andhs are stated in the census Reports to be an aboriginal tribe and probably are so. Nothing can be ascertained as to their origin, and they are not found in any Province. They have now adopted nearly all the practices of Kunbis and are hardly distinguishable from them in dress or personal appearance. In social status they are generally considered to be only a little lower than Kunbis, and cultivate in the ordinary Manner like them. They employ Brahmans as their priests, and profess to be Vaishnavas by religion , wearing sect-marks on their foreheads. But in two matters they appear to show their Dravidian origin. One is that they will eat flesh of such unclean animals as Fowls, Pigs, Rats, Snakes, and even cats. And the other, that they will readmit in to their caste Andh women detected in a criminal intimacy with men.

Gond & Pardhan:-
Like the Andhs, the Gonds & Pardhans have adopted Hindu dress & customs to a larger extent than in a Central Provinces. The Pardhans are the bards & musician of the Gonds , & are considered to occupya lower position than the tribe proper. Together they from about 10 per cent the population The Gonds have 3 subdivisions-Raj-Gonds, Dadwes, Mokasis. The name of the last may possibly be derived from the fact that they held land on privileged tenure under the Chanda kings; & they rank higher even than the Raj-Gonds, who will take food at their hands. The Dadwes are the lowest subdivision, & will take food from either of the other two. Besides these subcastes, which are endogamous, the Gonds are also divided in to sections who worship different no. of gods; & no two persons who have the same no. of gods may marry with each other. The worshippers of four,five,six,Seven and twelve gods are locally distinguished the last not being known in the Central Provinces. The tribe speak Gondi among themselves & they dress like the Kunbis. They are tenants & labourers & a few are patels of villages.

Kolam:-
The Kolams are a Dravidian tribe akin to the Gonds but distinct from them, who reside principally in the Wun taluk. They have a language of their own which appears to be derived from Telgu mixed with Gondi & Marathi words. In some respects they retain veryprimitive customs, but in dress they can hardly be distinguished from Kunbis. They are held to be lower than the Gonds Yet they are not considered as impure by the Hindus, are permitted to enter the Hindu temples. They worship their implements of agriculture on the last day of April. The Kolams have a curious ceremony for protecting the village from diseases.

LANGUAGES
LANGUAGE MARATHI

The principal language of the District in Marathi, which is spoken by Persons or 71 percent. Of the population. Yeotmal has the smallest proportion of Marathi-speakers of the four Berar Districts. The form of the language used locally is that known as the Berar dialect, and differs slightly from the pure Marathi of Poona. Long vowels and especially final ones are very frequently shortened; thus mi and mi, I; mahi bayko my wife; maha and maha, my. There is a strong tendency among the lower classes to substitute o for ava and avi; thus zol for zaval, near; udola for udavila squandered. An is very commonly used where the Deccan form of the language has and, especially in the termination of neuter bases, in the suffix ne of the instrumental, and in the future. Thus as a, so; sangitla. I is very often interchanged with e and ya; thus dila, della and dyalla, given; an initial e is commonly pronounced as a ye; thus ek and yek one. L and n are continually interchanged in the future tenses. Thus me marin, and marli I shall strike. V is very indistinctly sounded before lone and short I and e, and is often dropped altogether; thus isto, fire; is twenty; yal time; In verbs the second person singular has usually the form of the third person; thus tu ahe, thou art for tu ahes. In the present tense a is substituted for e in the terminations of the second a person singular and the third person plural. Thus tu marta, thou strictest; te martat, the strike. The habitual past of often used as an ordinary past; thus to mhane he said.

OTHER LANGUAGES
Among other languages Gondi is spoken by 85 percent of the number of Gonds in the District. The local form of the language differs in some respects from the standard one, and is a good deal mixed up with Marathi words. The Kolams are often classed as a Gond tibe, but their dialect differs widely from the language of the neighbouring Gonds. In some points Kolami agrees with Telgu, and in other characteristics with Canarese and connected forms of speech. There are also some interesting points of analogy with the Toda dialect of the Nilgiris, and Dr.Grierson remarks that the Kolams must, from a philological point of view, be considered as the remnants of an old Dravidian tribe, who have not been involved in the development of the principal Dravidian languages; or else of a tribe who did not originally use a Dravidian form speech. At the last census 5000 Kolams or a third of the total number in the District returned themselves as speaking Kolami. The District has 36,000 Banjaras and nearly all of them speak the gipsy dialect named after the caste. This is a rough kind of western Rajasthani or Marwari, much mixed with Gujarathi, but with the pronunciation of Marathi , Urdu is spoken by 29,000 persons, all of whom are Mohammedans, and telugu by 24,000 persons speak immigrants from madras About 6000 person speak Hindi, these being immigrants from Hindustan, generically known as Pardeshi; and 3000, principally Banias from Rajputana, return Marwari as their language.

RELIGIONS
The statistics of religion show that Hindus constitute 81 percent of the population, Animists 13%, & Muhammadans 5 %. In 1991 the District had 2568 Jains , & 209 Christians. The proportion of Animists is higher in Yavatmal than in the other Berar Districts owing to the comparatively large numbers of Gonds & Kolams. The Kolams are the most primitive of the tribes, and nearly all of them are still returned as Animists. Members of this religion are most numerous in the Kelapur, Wun and Yavatmal talukas. The Mahammadans, though more numerous than in most district of the Central Provinces, form a smaller proportion of the population in Yavatmal than elsewhere in Berar. They reside chiefly in the Pusad and Darwha talukas, while Wun and Kelapur have only small numbers of them. Of the total numbers of 30,000 Muharmmadans, 6000 live in the towns. Mahammadan patels hold 103 villages. Some of the Mahammadans are converted Rajputs and several important Deshmukh families are divided into Mahammadan and Hindu branches. There are also Mahammadan Kayaasths, some of whom are hereditary patwaris or belong to Deshpande families.

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