Ahir (Ayar)
Patidars (Patel)
Targala - Bhavaya

       The charan who have influenced the land of Saurashtra, Kutch and Marwad with their songs and verses of bravery. The history of Charan community differs from the history of their communities. There are the reference of charan community in the Vedas, the Puranas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
            The Charan community is engaged in cattle rearing in jungles or in an agriculture profession and is viewed as a backward community nowadays. The same community was once accorded high regards in princely courts. The kings respected them for their sharp intelligence and quick poetic ability. They had the courage and skill to express whatever their views in front of the kings. The community was always assured of safety form the authorities.
            Those were the days when Rajput kings, army chiefs and brave soldiers felt honoured to have sacrified themselves in war. They always wished that the stories of their bravery should be recorded by the history. These aspiration of the brave folk were fulfilled by the charans, who use to compose poetries from such stories and included the feeling of sacrifice and spirit into the minds of the listeners in state court as well as among the general public. They style of their narration used to be pictorial and spirthed. They could thrill even a tough-headed king with their outstanding delivery of speech.
            The Charan community has by now adopted the lifestyle and customes of Brahmin or Kahstriya community with the change of time many charans have now joined government jobs, police service and private institutions. The traditional occupation of narrating stories has already faded out. Charans use ‘dan’ as suffix to their names, Shankardan, Shivam etc. The women use ‘bai’ e.g. Sonbai, Maanbai etc.
            The charans of Sorath were landowners besides their occupation of cattle rearing. They are still inclined to literature. The old men of the community were a string of Radraksha beads in the neck and they worship Mataji or a Godess. They use ‘bha’ as suffix to their names e.g. Merubha, Jorubha etc. The women use ‘ba’ e.g. Maanba, Roopba etc.

Maldhari Charan:
            The Maldhari Charan are  a section of people living in dense forests of Gir in Saurashtra region. Cattle rearing, espically buffaloes and agriculture are their main occupations. They live in thatched huts on slops of big hills, in a group of thn to twenty huts called ‘Nes’. Such clusters are spread over a large area in the forests. These huts are called ‘Zok’. They may be called nimadic in a sense that they move to other places when they experience shortage of fodder at one place.
            Their huts are rectangular in shape and the thatched walls have windows too. Though the attire of one section of hte maldharis differ from the other. They generally were breeches, the jacket having strings in place of buttons, a turban and a thick bed-sheet like piece of cloth wrapped round the waist called ‘Bhet’. They out on shoes having the shape of a beak at the front. Some Maldhari charans keep a beard too.
            The charan women usually wear brownish cloth in place of petti-coats like a loongi. The cloth is either embroidered or printed at the border. This specific type of cloth is called ‘Jimi’. The top garment of the women generally consists of stringed blouses. They cover the head with chhint or thin woolen blanket either black or red.
            The charan women are very fond of silver ornaments. Vedha and Kadala i.e. ring wiht more turns and thick bangels are their chief possessions. The Anklets, the earrings, the necklace and a small nose-ring are among their different ornaments. Small ornaments are also made from the buffalo horn.
            The buffaloes reared by charans are very powerful, strong and fearless. They are not afraid of even the lions of Gir. They face a fierce fight and drive the lions away. Besides rearing cattle, the charans deal in homemade milk-products like ghee, butter and whey. Those engaged in farming lead the life of an ordinary farmer. The joint family system is still prevalent among them. They are by and large happy and prosperous. Many charan families use the ‘Hukkas’, they smoke pipes having a cup at the top and water bowl at the bottom, through which filtered smoke is inhaled. The cup at the top has burning coal pieces with specially perpared tabacoo. These hukkas are still found in the former princely homes.
            The Bharwad or a shepherd is a common scene on the outskirts of the cities and villages frequently engaged in leading and grazing the sheep and the goat with a big staff in their hand as well as peculiar type of noise. Another major occupations of a Bharwad community are dealing in milk. They transport the milk on vehicles like bicycle, motorcycle and even in a rickshow or a tempo.
            Some of the Bharwads rear cow and buffalo besides sheep and goat. Cattle are a commodity to them. Male members have names like Kano, Govind and Arjan. Females have names like Ratan, Panchi, Jashi etc. The male weark breeches, a shirt called Kediyu and a red or a white turban. They do not tie the turban systematically. Their shoes are old fashioned with a shape of a beak in the front. A big staff is always in their hands. They also wear an armlet and a round simple necklace made of silver and a ring in the ear. Bharwad women normally wear woolen dress. They put on a blanket-like cloth in place of petticoat or jimi. It is frequently embroidered in red and white colour. The cloth is called ‘dhunsi’. Their upper garment is made of cotton and has strings instead of buttons. They put woolen blanket on head. Big bracelet like bangals made of ivory on the left arm is their speciality. The Bhawads love to play the raas like Rabaris. They are fond of festivals and celebrate them with equal zeal.