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Daula, A. M. (1935) The speech and customs of the Cuhras of the Panjab. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Though many accounts have appeared at different time in journals and magazines concerning the history of the Cuhras, no attempt has so far been made to give a detailed account of their speech, customs and ceremonies. I have therefore tried to give as precise and accurate a description of this interesting and important community as possible. The subject matter of the Thesis is summarised under the following headings. I I. General description of the Cuhras. II. Ethnic types and mental characteristics. III. Speech of the Cuhras. IV. Material culture of the Cuhras. V. Social Institutions of the Cuhras. VI. The Cuhra Religion and its Practices. VII. Cuhra Folk-lore, including Folk-tales, Songs, Nursery rhymes, Proverbs and Riddles. VIII. The effect of recent contacts, education etc. on the social life of the Cuhras. This community of about seven hundred and fifty thousand people consists of several clans, scattered about in the Panjab. They are looked down upon by members of the upper castes on account of the lowly occupations in which they are engaged. It has been difficult to ascertain who these people really are. According to Rose the word Cuhra has several synonyms, but few of them are precisely the exact equivalent of Cuhra. Popular traditions and tales handed down from generation to generation are quoted in explanation of their origin. Cryptic terms and over two hundred words peculiar to the Cuhras have been collected and explained. An effort has been made to show the derivations of the Cuhra words from Sanskrit roots, as they appear to indicate distinct relationships. In addition, comparison has been made of the customs relative to birth, wedding and death ceremonies as observed by the Hindus the Muhammadans and the Cuhras with special reference to their resemblances and differences. A detailed description of their general characteristics, mental characters end ethnic types is also appended. Under social institutions of the Cuhras particular attention has been paid to explain the structure, formation and functions of the clans, kinship usages, genealogies, terms of relationship etc., which previous writers had not touched at all. The ceremonials are described in detail from personal observations extending over a long period. The Cuhra culture represents many extraneous influences. Within recent times they have adopted the religious principles of Hinduism, Muhammadanism, Christianity, Sikhism and Adhi Dharma, and in the latest Census Report of 1931-32 the relative figures of these sects are shown as 368224 (Hindus), 21713 (Mohammadans), 87791 (Sikhs), 33986 (Christians), 84292 (Adi Dharmis) respectively. Education is spreading at a very fast rate among the Cuhras and there can be little doubt that before long their old culture and customs will, as a result, disappear altogether; one remarks already the great changes that have come about within the last decade. No literary contributions in any language have so far been published by the Cuhras, but it would be sad if some of the educated young men of the class do not publish detailed accounts of their origin, history etc. based on the Gujranwala1 book and other similar sources.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:30

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