How they lived?

Nomadic pastoralists

Nomadic pastoralists moved over long distances with their animals and lived on milk and other pastoral products, they exchange wool, ghee etc for grain, clothes, utensils and other products.They bought and sold these goods as they moved from one place to another, transporting them on their animals. The Banjara were the most important trader nomads.Their caravan was called tanda.

One tanda consists of many families. Their way of life is similar to that of carriers who continuously travel from place to place. They own their oxen. They are sometimes hired by merchants, bus most commonly they are merchants themselves. They buy grains where it is cheaply available and carry it to places where it is dearer. From there they again reload there oxen with anything that can be profitably sold in other places. In a tanda, there may be as many as 6 or 7 hundred persons. They do not travel more than 6 or 7 miles a day-that too in the cool weather. After unloading their oxen, they turn them free to graze as there is enough land and no one there to forbid them.



Sultan Alauddin Khilji use the Banjaras to transport grain to the city markets, Emperor Jahangir wrote in his memoirs that the Banjaras carried grain on their bullocks from different areas and sold it in towns.They transported food grain for Mughal army during military campaigns.With a large army, there could be1,00,000 bullock's carrying grains. Pastoral tribes sold animals, such as cattle and horses to the prosperous people. Different castes of petty pedlers also travelled from village to village. They made and sold waressuch as ropes, reeds, straw matting and coarse sacks. Sometimes mendicants acted as wandering merchants. There were castes of entertainers also who performed in different towns and villages for their livelihood.

Nomads and itirant groups-Nomads are wondering people. Many of them are pastoralists who roam from one pasture to another with their flocks and herds. Similarly, itirant groups such as craftspersons, pedlers and entertainers travel from place to place practicing there different occupations.Both nomads and itirant groups often visit the same places every year.