(Last Updated on : 14/08/2010)
Bhulia caste is popularly known as the caste of weavers. This caste is also known by other names such as Bholia, Bholwa, Bhoriya, Mihir and Mehar. Formerly, a large number of Bhulias solely domiciled in the territories of Orissa
. They speak Hindi language
. There are several legends suggesting the origin of Bhulia caste. According to one tradition, Bhulias immigrated to this region of the country with first Chauhan Raja of Patna
. It is also believed that they are the members of some caste of northern India, who have forgotten their origin. The Koshtas tribe (landholders and cultivators) of Chhattisgarh
have a sub-caste called Bhoriya. Bhulia caste also calls them Devang or Devangan, which is the name of other sub-caste of Koshtis.
There are several local derivations of the name Bhuria. The Bhulias hold a higher position among the weaver caste. Bhulia caste has no sub-castes. However, in Kalahandi
a section is recognised as Sanpara Bhulias. The caste has two gotras, namely Nagas derived from the cobra and Kachhap from the tortoise. These gotras have no influence on marriage in their communities. Marriage in Bhulia caste is regulated by various exogamous groups called vansa. The names of these vansas are either derived from villages or are titles or some nicknames. For example, two of them, Bagh (tiger) and Kimir (crocodile), are totemistic, while two others namely Kumhar (potter) and Dhuba (washerman) are names of other castes. Some more examples of titular caste names are Bankra (crooked), Ranjujha (warrior), Kodjit (one who has conquered numerous people) and others. The territorial names of the sub-castes of Bhulias have been derived from those of villages where they reside presently.
In Bhulia community, marriage within the same exogamous groups is forbidden. They have certain customs and rituals associated with wedding ceremonies. The bridegroom is supposed to carry the bride in a basket seven times round the sacrificial fire. And if he is unable to do so, the girl's grandfather carries both of them. After the wedding ceremony the couple return to the village of the bridegroom. Remarriage of widows is allowed in this caste. Divorce is also permitted. Bhulia people eat flesh and also drink liquor. The position of Bhulia caste corresponds to the position of Koshtas.