Kawar is a scheduled tribe found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. They are believed to be the descendants of Kauravas of the Mahabharata.

They speak 'Kawari,' an Indo-Aryan language that is believed to be a dialect of Halbi. Apart from this, the tribe members can speak Chhattisgarhi and Hindi.

Many of this tribe lives in the northern plains, where they have settled and own farms. Agriculture is the main occupation. They also depend on other sources of income such as road construction and forest wealth collections.

Kawars are divided into endogamous groups, which are further divided into a number of exogamous sects called ‘goti’. Each sect uses symbols of plants and animals to represent its group.

The community members wear clothing and ornaments similar to the lower caste Hindus. Tattooing is very common among the villagers. They follow Hinduism, worshipping many Hindu gods and goddesses.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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