(Last Updated on : 19/08/2010)
Dhuri caste of Central India comprises members who are mainly associated with the occupation of rice parching. They are considered as an offshoot of Kahars. However, in Chhattisgarh
Dhuris claim that the Kahars are their sub-caste. In Kawardha, the members of Dhuri caste believe that the Raja brought them back while on his return from a pilgrimage. However, others say that they came from Mirzapur District
in Uttar Pradesh. There are some legends that indicate the origin of Dhuris. One of the legends says that Lord Shiva
or Mahadev once went to the forests and the moist earth stuck to his feet. He scraped it off and made a man out of that mud. He then asked the man what caste he would want to belong to. To this the man replied that he would leave it to him to decide. Thus, Lord Shiva decided that the man should be called Dhuri, derived from the word dhur, meaning dust. After that the man asked God to assign him a particular occupation, and Mahadev said that as he was created from the dust, his work would be to make cheora or pounded rice. He also added that people from every caste would eat the pulverised rice prepared by him.
Dhuri caste has two major sub-castes and they are known by different names in different regions of the country. Like for instance, in Kawardha they are known as Raj Dhuri and Cheorakuta. Raj Dhuris are said to be the descendants of personal servants in the Raja's family. In Bilaspur they are known as Badharia and Khawas, and in Raipur Badharia and Desha. The caste also has some exogamous sections, which are territorial, such as Agoria from Agori, a pargana in Mirzapur District, Naugahia from Naogaon in Bilaspur District, and others. However, the caste strictly does not forbid the marriage of members of the same exogamous sects. They also allow polygamy. The wedding ceremony of Dhuri caste comprises the bhanwar ceremony, which includes walking round the sacred pole. In Dhuri caste, widow re-marriage is allowed and the widow generally marries the younger brother of her late husband. Divorce is also permitted in Dhuri community. Dhuris are very religious and they principally worship Goddess Devi. They bury their dead and also observe a period of mourning.