(Last Updated on : 13/08/2010)
Basor caste is the professional caste of bamboo works. This particular caste is also known by several other names. Like for instance, Basor caste is also called as Bansphor, Dhulia and Burud. The first two names are Hindi names while the last term is mainly used in Maratha region. The Basors are largely found in the central provinces of the country. Almost half of the total population resides in Saugor, Damoh District
and Jabalpur District
. The term Basor is a corruption of the word Bansphor, meaning 'a breaker of bamboos.' Further, Dhulia is a corruption of the word dholi, which means a drum.
Basor caste traces its origin from Raja Benu or Venu who ruled at Singorgarh in Damoh region. History says that the king was so religious that he raised no taxes from his subjects; instead he earned his livelihood by making and selling different kinds of bamboo fans. Venu is a Sanskrit term that means bamboo
. Another legend relates that in the past there were no bamboos, and the first Basor took the snake which was worn by Lord Shiva
round his neck and planted it with its head in the ground. Immediately, bamboo sprang up on the spot and from this the Basor made the first fan.
Basors of northern districts are divided into various sub-castes. The principal ones are the Purania or Juthia, this particular sub-caste perhaps represent the oldest section and they are also called as Juthia; the Barmaiya or Malaiya, actually a territorial group; the Deshwari or Bundelkhandi who inhabit the native place of Bundelkhand
; the Gudha or Gurha; the Dumar or Dom Basors; the Dhubela, and the Dharkar. Further, Basor caste has numerous exogamous groups or septs, names of which can be classified as territorial and totemistic. Territorial names are Mahobia, derived from the town of Mahoba; Tikarahia from Tikari, Sirmaiya, from Sirmau; Orahia, from Orai; and so on. The totemistic clans include names like Sanpero from sanp, meaning a snake, the Mangrelo from mangra, meaning a crocodile, the Morya from mor, which means a peacock, the Titya from the titehri bird and the Sarkia from sarki or red ochre. All these clans worship their respective totems. For example, the Bandrelo, from bandar, worship a monkey.
In Basor community, marriage within the same clan is forbidden. Age of marriage is decided as per convenience. The wedding ceremony of Basor caste follows Marathi and Hindi wedding customs. A bride price is also paid. Widow re-marriage is also permitted and a widow is expected to marry the younger brother of her late husband. Divorce is also allowed in Basor community. Basor are also good musicians. They are very religious and worship various Hindu deities. They burn the dead and also observe a certain period of mourning. Basors prepare different kinds of baskets that are considered as very essential for agricultural community.