Kalbelia the tribe of rajasthan

Kalbelia the tribe of rajasthan

These communities preach snakes associate themselves with snake poison. Kalbelia is made from two words kaal+ belia  were kaal means mrityu (death)which is associated with poison, belia meand bowl now let us understand the relation of snakes and its poison with the community.

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Image Source: Flickr

It is believed tthat the origin of kalbelia happened nearly 12 century in one of the navnath followers, they belonged from thar desert of Rajasthan according to Pauranic story once guru gorakhnath given cup of poison to his student to take a test of his student kanifnath without any question his student drank that poison by be happy by his student his guru blessed every poisonous snake or species will be in your control. And his followers had the right to alms. Alms and devotion is the oldest culture of India. Were kalbelia community is also the symbol of this ritual.  Like this, the community got its origin. So the follower of kanifnath maharaj called kalbelia .

Some historians believe that  kaal is associated with kaal  and belia is associated with nandi,  what ever their story of origin one thing is clear their profession is catching snakes, curing poison bites, and business of snake poison are the traditional job of the community. 

Sub caste of the community are dhalival and mewara  which associated with sapera, sapela, jogi, gatiwala ,poogiwara or banjara  the language spoken by the community called as sapera  in 12th to 13th century according to jan kochanowski said golden period of kalbelia but after defeating of prithiviraj chauhan by  mauhammad  gauri started declining of the golden period of kalbelia community. after the 14th century in the fear of forcefully conversion of religion result in the shifting of these communities in other states. Such as malva Madhya Pradesh , Maharashtra and settled in Gujrat after that they continued their traditional profession. In mid of 16th to 18th century mughal rulers invite people of kalbelia community for entertainment for snake shows and traditional and classical dances of kalbelia, kalbelia associate themselves with nomadic food they move one village to another generally they live outside the border of state there house called as terra.

In kalbelia community one family member from every home compulsory to work as sapera where snakes kept in bamboo utility baskets where women do their traditional dance and collect alms, even in these communities belong from hindu but they don’t burn dead bodies in spite they buried the body.  On that graveyard establish the statue of nandi bail of lord shiva. 

In 1972  government of India enacted the wildlife protection act and prohibited in capturing wild animals leaving their profession related to snakes. So they adopted dance and music as their profession were kalbelia community women given the biggest contribution gulabo sapera  given a new identity to the art of dance and music in front of the whole universe it became popular in the name of kalbelia dance. In the year 2016 the government of India honored gulabo sapera honored with padma shri award.

Kalbelia community saved many lives by saving from snake bites. Today people from different regions of India and at the international level come to learn and see the dance of Rajasthan.  which contribute to tourism and employment.  Ramta Jogi and behta pani is the biggest examples of the community.

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