dominating and ruling community of one time, the Mers
of Saurashtra have a historic background of 15 to 16
centuries, are now living, a compratively simpler life
of farmers. The Mers have suffered a setback in their
status through the years. Fortunately for them, the
Mers have been able to preserve their sway and
superiority of sentiments. The Mers, the bold people
in nature are also known as ‘Maher’.
The Mers are believed to have descended
from the Gohil dynasty. They are strong and stout in
build. Keep big moustaches and they walk gorgeously.
The Mer community is mainly concentrated on the
western coast of Saurashtra. Porbandar, Jamnagar, and
Junagadh are the main centres of the Mer community.
The male members of the community usually
were breeches and the shirts called kediyu. They put
on princely turban and a cloth called ‘Khes’ on the
shoulders. At times the Met male ties a ‘Bhet’ on the
waist. A thick wooden statt and axe are the
traditional weapon of a Mer. They have been wearing
khadi for a pretty long time. Old women of the
community spin the cotton yarn themselves on the
hand-spinning wheel. The male wears cotton fabric made
by their women.
The Mer women are generally beautiful and
attractive. Pretty face and healthy physic are the
assets of a Mer female. The Mer lady moving with a
bare face and loaded with ornaments is never afraid of
anybody. Usually fair in complexion, Mer women look
more beautiful in dark red or black dress. The piece
of thin cloth on her head is always black. She does
not wear bangles. On occasions, she puts on gold and
silver ornaments. The tatoo is both a tradition and a
hobby among the Mer men and women.
Holi and Shitala-satam are the main
festivals of the community. They have maintained the
festival-games, which are full of bravery and boldness
in nature. Running competitions are held on the
occasion of ‘Balev’. The well-known competition of The
Mers is one in which betle-nuts are pierced into a
coconut only with the pressure of palms.