(Last Updated on : 16/08/2010)
Bhoyar is a cultivating caste residing principally in several regions of Central India like Betul District
and Chhindwara District
. However, the Bhoyar community is not found outside the central provinces of the country. Bhoyar caste claims to be the descendants of a group of Panwar Rajputs
, who were protecting the city of Dhar in central India when it was under Aurangzeb
. The name Bhoyar is derived from the word 'bhor', which means morning. They were put out of the caste by the Rajputs and they escaped to the central provinces. Regarding their name it is also suggested it is a variant of the name of the Bhagore Rajputs. And another source is from the word bhora, meaning a timid person. Their claim to be the immigrants from the country's central part is borne out by the fact that they speak a distorted version of Malwi dialect of Rajputana. This dialect is known after them and is called Bhoyari.
The Bhoyar caste has several sub-castes namely Dholewar, Chaurasia, Panwari and Daharia. Among these sub-castes, the Panwars are considered as the highest they claim to have descendend from Panwar Rajputs and also called themselves as Jagdeo Panwars. Dholewars derive their name from Dhola, a place in Malwa region, or from dhol, meaning a drum. It is possible that these different sub-castes immigrated with the Malwa Rajas around the fifteenth century. The Dholewars are considered as the earlier arrivals, and they are said to have intermarried with the local Dravidian tribes. The Daharia sub-caste takes its name from the term Dahar, the old name of Jabalpur
. The name of the fourth sub-caste of this community Chaurasia probably has been derived from Chaurasi or territory of 84 villages previously held by the Betul Korku family. Further, the Bhoyars have numerous kuls or exogamous sections. The names of these are titular; however some are territorial and some totemistic. Some of the names of such exogamous groups are Onkar (Lord Shiva
), Deshmukh and Chaudhari, headman, Gadria (a shepherd), Hazari (a leader of 1000 horses), Gore (fair-skinned), Dongardiya (a lamp on a hill), Suplya toplya (a basket and fan maker), Gohattya (a cow-killer), Pinjara (a cotton-cleaner), Khawasi (a barber), Kinkar (a slave), Dukhi (impoverished), Kasai (a butcher), Chiknya (a sycophant) and Kalebhut (black devil). The territorial groups are known as Sonpuria, from Sonpur and Patharia, from hill country.
In Bhoyar community, marriage within the same family group or Kul is prohibited. Marriage within first cousins is also not allowed. Girls get married at a very young age. They usually held the marriage ceremonies in the month of Baisakh. The caste allows widow re-marriage but a widow is supposed to marry a widower rather than a bachelor. They are religious by nature.