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In olden days, the kings used to assign various duties to people  who were engaged
in their service and they were given  designation / name according to their work. Gradually, the job title became their sub-caste
and some of them are still prevailing in Uttarakhand. There are some very interesting facts behind it which gives an insight on
the working of ancient society and distribution of work in Uttarakhand. Some Titles and  assignments are given here –

1.	Patua - During the rule of King Indra Chand in Kumaon, there was a weaving factory at Champawat. Nannu Patawa was
called from the planes who was expert in the job of making dor, Raksha Dhaga, chareo and knitting ornaments on the cloth /
thread. His descendents remained here and they too were known as Patua.

2.	Nai – Those doing hair were called Nai. Some them are local ‘khas’ while others are descendent of Sudhana Nai who
came to Kali Kumaon during the rule of King Som Chand.

3.	Thathera – ‘Th’ se Thathera’ we used to read it in initial period of our school days but did not know what is a
thathera. Kundan Thathera came to Uttarakhand during the regime of King Baj Bahadur Chand. His descendent were called thathera.

4.	Dhobi – Those in washing profession. Some of them came from the plane country while others were local who took up this job.

5.	Saun - Agari – They were labourer working in mines and expert in purifying metals from the ore and making pottery
of use. ‘Agar Patti’ in Ramgarh is famous from them.
According to George Elliot, “As written in ‘Vayu Purana’ some Gandharva were assigned the duty of extracting / excavating the
metals from the earth and called Aagneya”. It is possible that they became from Aagneya to Agari over a period of time. Later
they became one of the rich caste.

6.	Koli – They used to do weaving and knitting job. These people kept on wandering house to house and place to place,
collect the wool and weave / knit cloths for people. After mechanization, they became jobless and  took up other professions.


This is deformation of the word “Tamrakat” which means the person who works on copper to make things. These people were engaged in
forging of copper for making utensils. They were mainly concentrated in Kharhi patti of Kumaon. According to some articles, their
census in the year 1872 was 140 only.

Now a days most of them are doing other jobs after acquiring higher education. Still some of them are engaged in their ancestral
profession of forging utensils and Vessels for mass cooking.


Those who were good in construction of houses were and related activities such as mason, carpenter, and expert in excavating stones
and slates were called orh.


The kings used to offer bali and the place to rear (he) buffaloes was called Barha abd the people assigned the job of up keep of
barha was also called BARHA.


Those engaged in making of ‘Teer’ (arrow) were called Tiruwa.


A lot of them are still there engaged in the same profession of making and repairing of iron instruments used in farming and other
usage. In olden days, they were given ‘Khawa’ a part of yield in lieu of making the farming instruments throughout the year. They
were also given some land in the village for settlement.

Bhool – Those who used to extract oil from mustard, til, rai etc. were known as Bhool.

Rudiya – They were the workers who made ‘Dale’ (Baskets), most (Mats) Soop etc. with the ‘ringal’ or ‘bamboo’.

Chimadiya – They were good in making wooden pots and vessels and sold them to the people.

Bakhariya – They were ‘sais’ (Horse keeper) of the kings.

Dunna – One who processes the cotton to make mattresses etc.

Hankiya – Engaged in making earthen pottery.

Hunakiya – They used to sing with the music of ‘dholak’ while there women folks danced to entertain public by visiting house
to house. For that they were given food grains and clothing.

Article Presented by : BC Joshi @ Uttarakhand Worldwide