Banjaras are nomadic tribes found in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa and West Bengal. The banjaras are believed to be descendants of the Roma gypsies of Europe who migrated through the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, to settle down in the deserts of Rajasthan in India 2300 years ago. These tribes are related to European gypsies, who probably migrated from India.
Banjaras are known by different names such as Lamani, Lambadi, Bangala, Banjori, Banjuri, Gohar-Herkeri, Goola, Gurmarti, Kora, Labhani Muka, Lambara, Lavani, Lemadi, Lumadale, Sugali, Tanda, Vanjari, Waji, Gormati and Singali. They speak Lamani language.
Their occupations are gathering of forest products and agriculture. Banjara women wear a full length skirt with borders embroidered in mustard and green thread. They also wear pretty silver anklets. Silver, brass, gold, cowries, ivory, animal bone and even plastic are used in making a Banjara wardrobe. These tribes are experts in traditional hand embroidery with mirror works.
They worship Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity. The hundreds of cowries that the Banjara tribal women wear are very auspicious as they represent Lakshmi.Banjara tribes of Andhra Pradesh celebrate Holi. A variety of dance forms are performed during this occasion.