Introduction / History
The Kandera are a mostly Hindu community in Rajasthan State in India.
Where Are they Located?
The Kandera are found mainly in Jaipur, Alwar, Bharatpur and Sawai Madhopur districts.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The community is historically associated with the occupation of cotton ginning. In the local language, Rajasthani, the word "kani" means cotton, and a "kandera" means someone who works with cotton. Like many groups in Rajasthan, they claim Rajput ancestry. According to their traditions, their ancestor, a Kanakpal Singh had a falling out with Alaudin Khilji, the Muslim ruler of North India. He was defeated by the Sultan. Many members of his clan accepted Islam, and took up the occupation of cotton ginning.
Their native dialect is Braj Bhasa. The community are divided into thirty-six clans, and they practice clan exogamy, meaning they only marry outside their clan. There is no intermarriage between between Muslim and Hindu groups. They are a landless community, and live by cotton ginning and making quilt and pillows.
1. People of India - Rajasthan, Vol. XXXVIII Part 2, B.K Lavania, D. K Samanta, S K Mandal & N.N Vyas, eds. pp 489-493.
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