In the caste hierarchy the Mahars were outcasts because they were dark skinned

In the caste hierarchy the mahars were outcasts

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caste hierarchy, the Mahars were outcasts because they were dark-skinned compared to the light-skinned Aryans. Skin color was an important indicator in determining an individual’s caste (Daniel). As mentioned before, the word varnadoes not mean caste or class, but color (Ghurye, 163). Having come across people who were very dark in color and had rather snub noses, the
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Aryans described the earlier settlers as “dark color,” as people without noses, and applied them to the term dasa, which in Iranian stood for “enemy” (Ghurye, 165). Between the outcasts and the three Aryan varnaswere the Shudras, who were simple workers of the society. The Shudras consisted of two communities: one community was of the locals who were subdued by the Aryans, and the other was the mix of Aryan and local descent (Daniel). One of the main regulations the Aryans began with was the exclusion of these Shudras from their religious worship. Very early in their Indian history, the Aryans enjoined that the Shudras shall not practice the religious worship developed by them (Ghurye, 172). The various factors that characterize caste-society were the result of the attempts on the part of the upholders of the Brahmanic civilization to exclude the aborigines and the Shudras from religious and social communion with themselves (Ghurye, 172). In Hindu religious stories, there are many wars between the good Aryans and the dark-skinned demons. Stories of demon women trying to seduce good Aryan men in deceptive ways are very prominent. Many believed that these incidences really occurred in which the Gods and the positive heroes were of Aryan origin and the demons were in fact the original residents of India who the Aryans themselves coined as devils and demons (Daniel). As most of the societies in the world, India had a patriarchal system. Most of the time, the son inherited his father’s profession, which led to developing families, who acquired the same family profession for generations (Daniel). Later on, as these families got bigger, they were seen as communities, or jat. Different families who professed the same profession developed social relations between them and organized as a jat (Daniel). After a while, the Aryans who had created the caste system slowly began to add non-Aryans to their statuses. Different jats were integrated into the various varnasaccording to their profession. Other foreign invaders of ancient
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India—Greeks, Huns, Scythains, and others—conquered parts of India and created kingdoms. These were integrated with the Kshatriyas. Most of the communities that were in India before the arrival of the Aryans were categorized with the Shudras or were made outcasts depending on their occupations (Daniel). The beginning of the Dalit varnabegan here, where the communities exercising polluting professions were made outcastes and considered as “untouchables.” Brahmans are very strict about cleanliness, and in the past people believed that diseases could be spread not only through physical touch but through the air as well. This is one of the reasons why
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  • Fall '16
  • Robert Hayden
  • Anthropology, Caste, Caste system in India, Indian Caste

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