THE GARASIA TRIBE

The Garasia tribal community is considered to be the third largest tribal group of the state of Rajasthan and are predominantly found around Kumbalgarh, Saira and Gogunda.

What makes them different from other tribes is their interesting custom of marriage which usually takes place during the full moon of March at the annual Gaur Fair. Marriage in this community happens through elopement.  A bride price is paid to the bride’s father, which can be either spontaneous or pre-decided and the Gharasia couple can live-in together without getting married, once they return after the elopement.

Garasia people believe that modern society’s marriage brings several impositions, especially on women. Hence, they follow the principle of “right to reject and right to choose” giving equal or even higher status to women.

Polygamy is also practised in this community wherein a Garasia male is allowed to have more than one wife if his first wife is sterile or bears no sons. A woman can also seek out a new live-in partner at another fair who is then expected to pay a higher price to the woman’s former partner.

The Rajput Garasia typically live in one-room houses made with mud and bamboo walls. Those with more money build flat tiled roofs, while the poorer people still use thatch. Houses are usually built on the slopes of hills with their fields extending out in front. There is usually a guest house opposite the house of the headman of the village. There is no central village site where the people meet together. In fact, there is very little unity or cooperation between the village clans.

Traditionally, the Rajput worshipped their horses, their swords, and the sun. Today, they still practice ethnic religions, but their beliefs have been heavily influenced by Hinduism. Even though they now worship millions of gods and respect holy cows, as do Hindus, they still hold onto their original belief in spirits, fearing ghosts, spirits of the dead, and black magic.

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