Coastal communities

The coast is ‘not the end of the world’, rather it is initiation. The sea unites the regions with the movement of the seafaring population : traders, sailors, sufi and migrants exploring merchandise and destinations. The Gujarati seafarers were tandels, nakhudas, khalasis and others, who belonged to both Hindu or Muslim communities. They followed independent or joint rituals and spoke the same language. While the men of the house were away on their sea journeys, the women managed the household, community transactions and sometimes engaged in arts and crafts. Their routine also involved mending fishnets along with cleaning and drying the fishes.

The fishermen were divided into Kharwas, Bhadelas, Miyanas and Waghers. These communities were earlier engaged in piracy, but abandoned it and became sailors. The Kharwas are of three ethnic groups- Rajputs, Kolis and Muslims. They are found around Veraval, Mangrol and Porbandar. The Koli Kharwa are the descendents of the pirates who were active on the coast of Saurashtra. While the Wagher community have both Hindus and Muslims, the Hindu Waghers do not eat food prepared by their Muslim counterparts. However, they gladly marry their daughters off to Muslim Waghers, accepting heavy monetary benifits in return.

Published by Thinking tree

Thinking Tree is an initiative by a community of thinkers who endure that it is valuable to share our empathetic and learn from one another through the medium of books, intense conversations, formulating curiosities, and showing humanity.

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