The Tribes And Castes Of The Central Provinces Of India Vol.4

Kumhars numbered nearly 120,000 persons in the Central Provinces in 191 1 and were most numerous in the northern and eastern or Hindustani-speaking Districts, where earthen vessels have a greater vogue than in the south. The caste is of course an ancient one, vessels of earthenware having probably been in use at a very early period, and the old Hindu scriptures consequently give various accounts of its origin from mixed marriages between the four classical castes. " Concerning the traditional parentage of the caste," Sir H. Risley writes, 1 " there seems to be a wide difference of opinion among the recognised authorities on the subject. Thus the Brahma Vaivartta Purana says that the Kumbhakar or maker of water-jars {kumbhd), is born of a Vaishya woman by a Brahman father ; the Parasara Samhita makes the father a Malakar (gardener) and the mother a Chamar ; while the Parasara Padhati holds that the ancestor of the caste was begotten of a Tili woman by a Pattikar or weaver of silk cloth. Sir Monier Williams again, in his Sanskrit Dictionary, describes them as the offspring of a Kshatriya woman by a Brahman.

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