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Title: Kabaria  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kunjra, Baghban, Bharbhunja, Behna, Maliar
Collection: Muslim Communities of India, Muslim Communities of Uttar Pradesh, Social Groups of Uttar Pradesh
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Kabaria, sometimes pronounced as Kabariya are a Muslim community found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, mainly in the Awadh region. A small number of Kabaria are also found in the Terai region of Nepal. They now have Other Backward Class status in Uttar Pradesh.[1][2][3]


  • Origin 1
  • Present circumstances 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The community gets its name from the Urdu word kabariya which literally means someone who sells scrap, and they are said to have originally belonged to the Kunjra community, who evolved into a distinct community when they changed their occupation from selling vegetables to scrap. However, the majority of the Kabaria are still involved in the selling of fruits and vegetables. According to their own traditions, they descend from a community of Arain from Punjab who settled in Lucknow. Other traditions make the community to be converts from the Hindu Murao caste.[4]

The Kabaria are found mainly in Lucknow District, both in the city and in villages near the town of Mohanlalganj. A second settlement is found in Bahraich and Balrampur districts.[5] In the 19th Century, a number of Kabaria began to settle in the Terai region of Nepal, in particularly Nepalganj District. They now form an important element in the Muslim population of Nepal.[6]

Present circumstances

The Kabaria are strictly endogamous, and practice both parallel cousin and cross cousin marriages. They speak the Awadhi dialect, although most Lucknow Kabaria speak reasonable Urdu, and belong to the Sunni sect. Like other Indian Muslim castes, they have informal caste council, referred to as a panchayat. The panchayat acts as an instrument of social control, resolving intra community disputes, and punishing community members who transcend cultural norms. Each Kabaria settlement contains its own panchayat, but unlike other communities, they have not set a formal caste association.[7]

The Kabaria of Lucknow city are still involved in the selling of fruits and vegetable. They buy their produce at marts from the Kachhi, Kurmi and Murao communities. While the rural Kabaria are small and medium sized farmers, and cultivate wheat, paddy, maize, millets, pulses, sugar cane and vegetables. They have benefited from the land reforms carried out at Indian independence, when land reforms led to tenant farmers becoming proprietors. The Kabaria live in multi-caste and multi-religious villages, occupying their own quarters.[8]

See also


  1. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 452 Manohar Publications
  2. ^ Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh Volume III by William Crook page 345
  3. ^ Muslim caste in Uttar Pradesh : (a study of culture contact) by Ansari, G, (Ghaus) Ethnographic and Folklore Soiciety 1960 pages 46 and 47
  4. ^ A Gazetteer of Lucknow District Volume XXXVII: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville
  5. ^ A Gazetteer of Bahraich District Volume XLV: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville
  6. ^ Caste Hierarchy: The Inter-Ethnic Stratification in the Muslim Society of Nepal by Shaker Thapa Tribhuvan University Journal Volume XVIII
  7. ^ Muslim caste in Uttar Pradesh : (a study of culture contact) by Ansari, G, (Ghaus) Ethnographic and Folklore Soiciety 1960 pages 46 and 47
  8. ^ Muslim caste in Uttar Pradesh : (a study of culture contact) by Ansari, G, (Ghaus) Ethnographic and Folklore Soiciety 1960 pages 46 and 47
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