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The name Nagpur is probably taken from Nagvanshi, who ruled in this part of the country.[4] During reign of Medini Ray, he had invaded Navratangarh and defeated Nagvanshi king. Later he had constructed a new Palamu Fort with spoils from Navratangarh. A gate in fort was named Nagpuri gate which was constructed in Nagpuria style.[5][6][7]

Sadan refers to non-tribal Indo-Aryan speaking ethnic groups of Jharkhand. Probably the term derive from Nishada, referring to an ethnic group of North India. [3]


Prehistoric eraEdit

Stone tools, microliths discovered from Chota Nagpur plateau region which are from Mesolithic and Neolithic period.[8] In Bhimbetka rock shelters, 9000 year old Mesolithic painting of group dance is similar to the Nagpuri folk dance Jhumair and domkach. Similar dance also found in pottery of Navdatoli.[9] During Neolithic period, agriculture started in South Asia. Several neolithic settlements have found in sites such as Jhusi, Lahuradewa, Mehergarh, Bhirrana, Rakhigarhi, Koldihwa, Chopani Mando and Chirand. At the confluence of Son and North Koel river in Kabra-Kala mound in Palamu district various antiquities, coins and art objects have been found which are from Neolithic to Medieval period and the pot-sherds of Redware, black and red ware, black ware, black slipped ware and NBP ware are from Chalcolithic to late medieval period. There was Chalcolithic settlement in Palamu district during first half of 2nd millennium BC.[10]

Ancient historyEdit

Several Iron slags, microlith, Potsherds discovered from Singhbhum district which are from 1400 BCE according to Carbon dating.[11] During the Vedic period, several janapadas emerged in northern India. Parts of western India was dominated by tribes who had a slightly different culture, considered non-Vedic by the mainstream Vedic culture prevailing in the Kuru and Panchala kingdoms. Similarly, there were some tribes in the eastern regions of India considered to be in this category. There were many kingdom existing in the north such as Madra, Salva and in the east such as Kikata, Nishadas who were not following Vedic religion.

Around c. 1200–1000 BCE, Vedic Aryans spread eastward to the fertile western Ganges Plain and adopted iron tools which allowed for clearing of forest and the adoption of a more settled, agricultural way of life. [12][13][14] During this time, the central Ganges Plain dominated by a related but non-Vedic Indo-Aryan culture. The end of the Vedic period witnessed the rise of cities and large states (called mahajanapadas) as well as śramaṇa movements (including Jainism and Buddhism) which challenged the Vedic orthodoxy.[15] According to Bronkhorst, the sramana culture arose in "greater Magadha," which was Indo-European, but not Vedic. In this culture, Kshatriyas were placed higher than Brahmins, and it rejected Vedic authority and rituals.[16][17] These Sramana religions did not worship the Vedic deities, practiced some form of asceticism and meditation (jhana) and tended to construct round burial mounds (called stupas in Buddhism).[18] Some parts of Nagpuri speaking region was parts of Magadha Mahajanpada.

Magadha and other Mahajanapadas in the Post Vedic period

In Mauryan period, this region ruled by a number of states, which were collectively known as the Atavika (forest) states. These states accepted the suzerainty of the Maurya empire during Ashoka's reign (c. 232 BCE). Samudragupta, while marching through the present-day Chotanagpur region, directed the attack against the kingdom of Dakshina Kosala in the Mahanadi valley.[19]

Early modern period (c. 1526 - c. 1858)Edit

During medivial period Chero and Nagvanshi were ruling this region. During region of Akbar, the Mughal invaded Khukhragarh, then Nagvanshi rulers became tributaries to Mughals. Nagvanshi were independent during weak Mughal rule. After the Battle of Plassey, the region comes under influence of East India Company. Chero and Nagvanshi ruler then became tributaries to East India company.

Bakhtar Sai and Mundal Singh, two landowners from Gumla, fought against the British East India company in 1812 against tax imposition on farmers. British hanged them in Kolkata.[20]

The other princely states in Chota Nagpur Plateau, came within the sphere of influence of the Maratha Empire, but they became tributary States of East India Company as a result of the Anglo-Maratha Wars known as Chota Nagpur Tributary States.[21]

Modern Period (after c. 1850 CE)Edit

The brothers Nilambar and Pitambar were chiefs of Bhogta clan of the Kharwar tribe, who held ancestral jagirs led the revolt against British East India company in 1857.[22]

Thakur Vishwanath Shahdeo and Pandey Ganpat Rai led rebels against British East India Company in 1857 rebellion.[23]Tikait Umrao Singh, Sheikh Bhikhari, Nadir Ali, Jai Mangal Singh played pivotal role in Indian Rebellion of 1857.[24]

After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria.[25]


After Indian independence in 1947, the rulers of the states chose to accede to the Dominion of India. Changbhakar, Jashpur, Koriya, Surguja and Udaipur later became part of Madhya Pradesh state, but Gangpur and Bonai became part of Orissa state, and Kharsawan and Saraikela part of Bihar state.[26] Region under Kings of Nagvansh and Ramgarh became parts of Bihar state.

In November 2000, the new states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand separated from Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, respectively.

Caste and communitiesEdit

Various communities traditionally speak the Nagpuri language, including the Chero,[27] Rautia,[28] Kharwar,[29] Ahir, Binjhia, Bhogta, Chik Baraik, Ghasi, Jhora, Kudmi, Kewat, Kumhar, Lohra and Teli, among others.[30] All these communities traditionally depend on each other on the basis of functional relations.

Some communities speak both Indo-Aryan and Munda languages such as Mahli and Turi whose traditional occupation was basketry. Also few clans of some communities are same as that of Kurukh and Mundas who are dravidian and Austroasiatic linguistic group respectively. This may be due to language shift of some Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Austroasiatic speaking individuals or acculturation.[31]



Nagpuri language is native to Western Chota Nagpur plateau region. Its literary tradition started around 17th century. During reign of Nagvanshi and kings of Ramgarh, several Nagpuri poems written in Devanagari and Kaithi script.[32] The king Raghunath Shah and King of Ramgarh Dalel Singh were great poet. Hanuman Singh, Jaigovind Mishra, Barju Ram, Ghasi Ram Mahli and Das Mahli were prominent peot.[33] "Nagvanshawali" written by Beniram Mehta is a historical work in Nagpuri language. Great poet Ghasiram Mahli had written several works including Vanshawali, Durgasaptasati, Barahamasa, Vivha Parichhan etc. There were also great writer like Pradumn Das and Rudra Singh.[34]

Music and danceEdit

The Nagpuri people have their own styles of dance.[35] Some Nagpuri folk dance are Jhumair, Mardana Jhumair, Janani Jhumair, Domkach, Lahasua, Phaguwa, sanjhi, adhratiya, bhinsariya etc. The musical instruments used in folk music and dance are Dhol, Mandar, Bansi, Nagara, Dhak, Shehnai, Khartal, Narsinga etc.[36] Akhra is important part of Nagpuri culture which is village ground where people dance.[37]


Karam and Jitia are major festival celebrated among Nagpuri people.[37] Other major festival are Asari, Nawakhani, Sohrai, Fagun etc. Sarna is a place of Sacred grove where village deity resides according to traditional belief, the offering to gram deota takes place twice a year before and after the monsoon for good rain, harvest and safety of village.

Marriage traditionEdit

Nagpuri marriage is unique. Prior to marriage, the boys’s relatives go to girl’s home to see and negotiate for marriage and token amount is paid by the boys’s family to the girl’s family as part of the marriage expenses called damgani.

The process of marriage starts with giving of Sari by boy's family to girl's family. Damgani, panbandhi, matikoran (worship of gramadevata), madwa and dalhardi, nahchhur, amba biha, painkotan, baraat, pairghani, sindoor dan (Vermilion giving), harin marek (hunting deer), chuman (giving gifts), etc are the activities and rituals of marriage accompanied by music of Nagara, Dhak and Shehnai played by traditionally musicians of Ghasi community. Domkach, Pairghani(welcome ceremony) dance perfermed during marriage. Wedding performed by thakur/Nai (barber) and the village priest called pahan in matikoran. Traditionally nagpuri wedding conducted without a Brahmin priest.

Post marriage activity are bahurat (going of bride's family to groom house to bring back bride and groom to bride's home) and playing beng pani (frog water).[38]


The deities reverence by Nagpuri people are Surjahi(Surya/Sun), Chand(Chandra/Moon) and ancestors Matri devi(mother goddess), Pitr deo(father god). Other deities are Gram deoti(village deity), Bar Pahari(mountain deity) and Jatia baba(Cattle deity similar to Pushan and Pashupati) etc. Some deities are certainly similar to deities of Rigveda but some rigvedic deities are not found such as Soma, Aryaman, Bhaga etc. The people worship these deities at home themselves during festivals.[38][39] It appears that nagpuri religious tradition is of pre-vedic Indo European origin. Probably It has roots in Chalcolithic period.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  2. ^ "Sadri". Ethnologue.
  3. ^ a b "Sadani / Sadri". Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  4. ^ Sir John Houlton, Bihar, the Heart of India, pp. 127-128, Orient Longmans, 1949.
  5. ^ "Pugmarks In Palamau".
  6. ^ "Palamow New Fort from the Old. Decr. 1813".
  7. ^ "The Twin Forts of Palamu".
  8. ^ periods, India-Pre- historic and Proto-historic (4 November 2016). "India – Pre- historic and Proto-historic periods". Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Retrieved 8 September 2018 – via Google Books.
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  10. ^ "KABRA – KALA".
  11. ^ Singh, Upinder (8 September 2018). "A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century". Pearson Education India. Retrieved 8 September 2018 – via Google Books.
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  13. ^ Witzel 1995, p. 3-5.
  14. ^ Samuel 2010, p. 49-52.
  15. ^ Flood 1996, p. 82.
  16. ^ Bronkhorst 2007.
  17. ^ Long 2013, p. chapter II.
  18. ^ Bronkorst, J; Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India (2007), p. 3
  19. ^ Sharma, Tej Ram (1978). "Personal and Geographical Names in the Gupta Inscriptions".
  20. ^ a b "The amicable relationship some villagers have with the Maoists, panchayat institutions, as well as large NGOs operating in the vicinity of the villages seems an unusual co-existence in Jharkhand".
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b "History".
  23. ^ "cm pays tribute thakur vishwanath sahdeo birth anniversary".
  24. ^ "JPCC remembers freedom fighters Tikait Umrao Singh, Sheikh Bhikari".
  25. ^ Kaul, Chandrika. "From Empire to Independence: The British Raj in India 1858–1947". Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  26. ^ Eastern States Agency. List of ruling chiefs & leading personages Delhi: Agent to Governor-General, Eastern States, 1936
  27. ^ People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part One edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 229 to 231 Seagull Books
  28. ^ People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part Two edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 945 to 947 Seagull Books
  29. ^ Encyclopaedia of Scheduled Tribes in Jharkhand.
  30. ^ "1 Paper for 3 rd SCONLI 2008 (JNU, New Delhi) Comparative study of Nagpuri Spoken by Chik-Baraik & Oraon's of Jharkhand Sunil Baraik Senior Research Fellow".
  31. ^ "Fourth World Dynamics, Jharkhand".
  32. ^ "gaint new chapter for nagpuri poetry". telegraphindia.
  33. ^ "नागपुरी राग-रागिनियों को संरक्षित कर रहे महावीर नायक". prabhatkhabar. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  34. ^ "Jharkhand Samanya Gyan".
  35. ^ Sharan, Arya (1 June 2017). "Colours of culture blossom at Nagpuri dance workshop". The Daily Pioneer. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  36. ^ "Out of the Dark". democratic
  37. ^ a b "talk on nagpuri folk music at ignca". daily Pioneer.
  38. ^ a b "Culture and Tradition of Chik Baraik Community".
  39. ^ "Chik Baraik". Retrieved 27 August 2019.

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